Do Bees Eat Honey? The Birds AND The Bees Eat Honey!

Did you know that around 25,000 species of bees exist in the world today? About three-fourths of them are solitary, meaning that they don’t live in colonies but instead burrow into the soil or other places. Very few of them make honey. So do bees eat honey? If they make it, they eat it. So what do other bees eat? And what else do bees make? We’re going to explore everything about these sweet little vegetarian critters!

What Makes A Bee A Bee?

Here’s the story. Millions of years ago there were no flowers. Instead, ferns, mosses, and conifers stored spores or male and female pollen in dull packets to be distributed by the wind. No brightly colored sweet-scented flowers and fruit. The first insects were flightless but developing the ability to fly made their lives much easier because pollen was nutritious.

Some beetles and flying wasplike insects preferred the lifestyle of landing on plants to nibble. It was only a matter of time before plants co-evolved with insects to take advantage of their flying around to aid in their reproduction. It was much more efficient than random gusts of wind.

You know the question about which came first, the chicken or the egg? If you ponder the question of which came first, the pollen or the pollinator, the answer is that it was a partnership. The newly emerged flowering plants flourished when insects found their colors attractive and their sweet nectar refreshing.

The first fossils of flowering plants appeared around 130 million years ago, beginning what one bee lover called “the longest marketing campaign in history.” The insect-flower partnership worked so well that flowering plants quickly spread all over the globe. The protein-rich pollen was as nutritious as the prey insects the carnivorous wasps devoured, so some of them specialized as pollen-eaters.

Bee joke

Life Stages Of Honey Bees:

  • Eggs: Eggs are the result of the queen bee leaving the nest for a few romantic flights to mate more than 20 times in mid-air with different drones. She then returns to the nest to begin laying over 1000 eggs daily.
  • Larvae: After three days, each egg develops into a larva, a small grub that is fed by young nurse worker bees.
  • Pupae: After about six days, the worker bees cap each cell with beeswax so the larvae will spin cocoons around themselves and, like butterflies, begin to transform. Depending on which kind of jelly the nurse worker bees have fed them, they emerge as workers, queens, or drones.
  • Role determination: Most of the eggs will develop into female workers as well as a few queens, but the unfertilized eggs become male drones. Worker bees feed the larvae special jelly made in special glands in the heads and mouths of young nurse worker bees. The type of jelly controls the growth of the larvae.

Workers, Queens, And Drones

  • Workers: Fed “worker jelly,” eggs destined to become workers emerge in 18 – 22 days. They start work immediately, cleaning and prepping wax cells. After a few days, she begins work as a brood nurse to care for the larvae by feeding them.

    Around two weeks later, she graduates to producing wax to build and repair the cells in the nest. About three weeks later, she becomes a guard bee to defend the nest against threats. She eventually begins the last stage of her career by collecting pollen and nectar.

    Other duties include collecting water, removing dead larvae and bees, and fanning air to control the internal temperature. Workers only live around six weeks, spending every day of their lives helping the nest
  • Queens: Fed “royal jelly” with more protein and extra nutrients, queen bees emerge in 16 days. They spend their lives laying eggs except during a winter break. When the colony needs more space, the queen will lay extra eggs destined to become queens, and then she will lead a swarm of bees out to establish a new nest elsewhere. A queen may live as long as four years.
  • Drones: Fed “drone jelly,” adult drones emerge in 24 days. They have no other purpose but to fertilize a queen. After mating, the drone dies.

Leaving the Nest

Leaving the nest: When the nest becomes overcrowded, the old queen and part of the colony leave in a swarm. They find a safe place to wait while scout worker bees explore potential sites for the new nest. Ideal nesting sites are usually hollow trees, rock crevices, caves, or underneath roofs.

Communicating by dance, each scout reports on the location and suitability, also taking time to disrupt the dances of other scouts. Eventually, a decision is made as other scouts and colony members gravitate toward the most effective communicator and echo the dance as well as disrupt the remaining dancers. A nest will be used and enlarged for several years.

Check out this National Geographic video to get an idea of what it’s like to be a honeybee.

Where Do Bees Go In The Winter?

When the weather gets cold, honey bees will hunker down in their nests. Do bees eat honey? Winter is the time they survive off the honey they’ve been storing during the previous months. On warmer days the field workers will seek water and whatever flowers are nearby.

Although many insects hibernate, honey bees don’t. Keeping the nest warm requires a lot of energy, as does flying in cold temperatures. As soon as the weather begins to warm up in early spring, bees are on the go again in search of pollen and nectar to bring back to the hive to begin replenishing the honey.

One of the toughest times for a hive is in very early spring because not much is blooming yet. With their highly developed sense of smell, foraging bees will find your offerings hopefully before the ants do.

One of the most important factors in helping bee colonies survive is ensuring that their stores of honey are not robbed in the fall before the bees have time to make more. You can leave out pieces of raw ripening fruits such as oranges, plums, peaches, grapes, apples, bananas, pears, and figs that substitute for nectar.

Planting Cold-Hardy Early Bloomers:

  • Ajuga
  • Bellflower
  • Bleeding heart
  • Bush clematis
  • Chives
  • Crocus
  • Grape hyacinth
  • Jacob’s ladder
  • Lilac
  • Lungwort (Pulmonaria)
  • Mahonia
  • Peony
  • Potentilla
  • Sand cherry

Do Bees Drink Water & What Do Bees Do During A Drought?

do bees drink water

Bees need water, not only to drink but to thin the honey and to cool the nest or hive. They use their excellent sense of smell to locate it. Once they’ve found a reliable source, they’ll keep coming back. Not only do they prefer slightly salty water, but also nutrient-rich water that smells like dead leaves, worms, moss, and algae.

With nectar and honey available, they don’t need added sugar. Although sugar water can help them temporarily, it should never be put inside the nest because it can make the inside of the hive damp and promote the growth of mold. Water is less available in winter, but worker bees collect it from dew and other sources on warmer days. They also make use of condensation within the nest.

You can help by maintaining a bee watering station. They’ll think it’s the bee’s knees!

TIP: Bees not only need a good water source throughout the year, but they need to have a place to stand because they can’t swim. Some beekeepers put a piece of untreated wood under an outdoor water spigot and let it drip. This way water is available all year round regardless of drought or cold.

Do Bees Eat Their Own Honey? What Else Do Bees Make?

Do bees eat honey? Bees make honey for their hive members to eat, especially during the winter when flowers are no longer available, but they make several other substances as well. Some you’ve heard of but the others might surprise you:

  • HONEY: Mouth-watering details in a moment.
  • ROYAL HONEY: This milky secretion made by worker bees provides early nourishment for developing larvae as well as for the queen her entire life. It contains water, proteins, sugars, fats, vitamins, salts, and more.
  • BEE BREAD: Basically a chewed mixture of pollen and nectar or honey along with other secretions, bacteria, and molds, bee bread is what worker larvae and adults eat.

Propolis And Wax

  • PROPOLIS: Made from plant resins, propolis is also called “bee glue” because workers use it to line new nests before laying down the honeycomb cells. The workers select various plants to collect their resins for repairing wounds, repelling insects, and protecting new buds. Mixed with saliva and wax, propolis seals holes in the nest that would otherwise allow heat to escape.

    If an invader such as a mouse is too large to carry out of the nest after the workers have stung it to death, it will be “embalmed” in propolis. In fact, the ancient Egyptians sometimes used propolis during the mummification process.
  • WAX: Do all bees make wax? No, only those from the genus Apis, which includes 11 species of social bees living in nests, making honey, and communicating by dancing. Beeswax contains over 280 compounds depending on the type of pollen used.
  • VENOM: Not all bee species can sting, and most bees that can sting won’t unless provoked

What Exactly Is Honey?

what do bees use honey for

As you know by now, honey is made from nectar and pollen that honey bees collect and process to feed the colony. “Do bees eat honey?” you asked. Yes, yes, yes! Most honey is “multi-floral,” made from different kinds of flowers. Mono-floral honeys are more expensive because they’re made from mostly one flower type and have distinctive flavors.

Popular varieties of honey:

  • Acacia: It actually comes from the black locust tree and has a sweet, strong honey flavor and pale color; often used for skin conditions because of its antibacterial properties.
  • Buckwheat: Thick, dark, and strong, this honey is highly nutritious, delicious when used as a marinade, and highly effective as a healing wound poultice.
  • Clover: The most popular type in North America, it is amber-colored with a light floral taste.
  • Dandelion: Made early in the season, it is dark amber with an intense floral flavor and a tart finish.
  • Eucalyptus: Predictably, this honey has a menthol-like herbal flavor but is often used as a home remedy for respiratory conditions.

More Varieties

  • Linden: Popular in Europe from fragrant linden trees, it has a bright, slightly herbal taste; it also has mildly sedative properties.
  • Manuka: Made from the tea tree bush, it has a medicinal flavor, but is popular for strong antibacterial properties; used for oral health, the FDA has also approved it for wound treatment.
  • Orange blossom: Light-colored with a delicate citrus flavor, popular in Spain and Mexico.
  • Sage: Light and mild, this honey is often mixed with other honeys to keep them liquid instead of crystallizing.
  • Sourwood: Not sour at all, sourwood honey boasts a rich caramel flavor with hints of butter and spice; made to be enjoyed.
  • Tupelo: From southern swamps, this luscious honey has been described as “buttery smooth.”
  • Wildflower: A multi-floral honey that varies from batch to batch; light with a fruity flavor.

Another type you may not have heard of is “honeydew honey,” made from bees stroking the aphids of sap-sucking insects to collect the sweet secretions.

What DO Honey Bees Eat And Do Queen Bees Eat Honey?

The best food for bees is the honey they make. What do bees use for energy? If they’ve had access to flowers all season, they will have made and stored enough honey to sustain them. So do bees eat honey? There is one exception, as you’ll read about next. The workers do and the drones do, but not the queen.

She’s able to feed herself, but being the queen, she is always surrounded by her personal attendants tending to her every need. They even pre-digest her nectar and honey for her into royal jelly, feeding it to her mouth-to-mouth all of her life! Queens eat almost constantly, too, because their job is to produce thousands of eggs to populate the hive. Now you know the answer to “Do bees eat honey!”

Flower Power

honey bees on flowers

Did you know that without bees and other animals carrying pollen from flower to flower, about three-fourths of native American plants would likely disappear? On one trip, a foraging worker bee will check out about 100 flowers to gather nectar and pollen. She’ll make 10-15 trips per day.

On a good day she might visit as many as 5000 blossoms. Although the big foraging season ranges from March through September, bees will go any time of the year if the temperature reaches 50F.

Plant your flowers in clumps or “drifts” of individual species instead of mixing them since the bees focus on one type of flower per trip. You’ll want to plan your plantings so something is blooming all the time. When choosing plants, you might be tempted to try out new cultivars advertised as double flowers.

These varieties produce exotic blooms resembling two flowers in one with lush, thickly layered petals. Although beautiful, they’re not good for bees and other pollinators because the extra petals make the nectar and pollen difficult to access. Choose single flowers whenever you can.

Bee tongue length is another factor determining the best flowers for bees. Different species of pollinators have different tongue lengths. That’s another reason why it’s good to provide bees with a variety of choices. Avoid hybrids because they’re sterile, hence, no pollen.

Provide some bushes or trees that offer protective scaffolding for the plants. Regarding color, red appears black to bees. Bees respond best to blue, purple, yellow, orange, and white. Avoid toxic pesticides and fungicides or at least apply them when pollinators aren’t active, either very early or very late. Not at all is best.

A Word About Native Plants

what are native plants

While many environmentalists advocate the use of native plants over non-native plants, climate change is affecting the ecology all over the world as species migrate or die off. For that reason, a newer school of thought is suggesting that choosing a variety of non-invasive plants might be the best strategy to keep local wildlife healthy. To learn more about other pollinators, check out our Happy Tails post on butterflies!

Suggestions for bee gardens:

  • Alyssum
  • Basil
  • Bee balm
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Borage
  • Butterfly bush
  • Calendula
  • Chives
  • Cleome
  • Coneflower
  • Comfrey
  • Cornflowers
  • Dill
  • Hellebore
  • Honeysuckle
  • Lamb’s ear
  • Lantana
  • Lilacs
  • Lavender
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Poppies
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Salvia
  • Sedum (especially Sedum spectabile)
  • Snapdragons
  • Sunflowers
  • Thyme
  • Verbena
  • Wallflowers
  • Wisteria
  • Zinnias

Why Weeds Are Not Weeds!

Weeds are unwanted plants. In light of climate change and declining insect populations, the term “weeds” is quickly becoming obsolete. We prefer to call them “wildflowers” because they feed a large number of pollinators.

Do bees eat honey? They can when they can make enough from abundant flowers all season long. By mowing lawns less frequently, flowering weeds such as the following can significantly contribute to local bee colonies:

  • Bird’s foot trefoil
  • Chickweed
  • Creeping Charlie
  • Crimson red clover
  • Daisies
  • Dandelions
  • Henbit
  • Joe Pye weed
  • Purple deadnettle
  • White clover

What Kind Of Birds Eat Honey & Honey Bees?

In the wild, few birds eat honey because nectar is so much easier to access. Also, honey is thick and sticky, so it can disable flight feathers. However, honey’s stickiness makes it an excellent binder when used to make delicious bird treats, so check out our recipes!

Some species of birds in the U.S. that go after honey bees include purple martins, thrushes, swifts, kingbirds, mockingbirds, summer and scarlet tanagers, and woodpeckers. Woodpeckers are the most assertive because they focus on a specific hive and feed off any available bees. Most bee-eaters also consume wasps, instinctively knowing how to quickly remove the stingers.

Did you know that in some areas of Africa, humans and wild birds known as greater honeyguides have partnered up to locate honey bee nests? The humans want the honey and the honeyguides want the wax. The humans call to the birds to alert them when an expedition is forming, then follow the birds who slowly lead them to the nest.

After smoking the nest to calm the bees, the humans share the combs with the birds. The honeyguides aren’t domesticated but in some cases, the wild birds even initiate the calls to the humans to help them open a recently located nest.

Is Honey Healthy?

how much honey a day

Honey is meant to sustain busy, fast-growing bee larvae and active adults, so it has to be extremely healthful. Its benefits are most available when it’s raw, unfiltered, and locally sourced instead of highly processed and diluted. Manuka honey provides the biggest antibacterial and antifungal punch. Dandelion, heather, honeydew, and tupelo honey are said to contain the most antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E, plus phenolic acid and flavonoids).

Other nutrients include B-complex vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin K, and minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and zinc. Dark honeys are the most nutritionally concentrated.

Benefits Of Raw Honey Vs. Commercially Processed Honey

Mass production as well as the desire for convenience have governed food production for many years. Unfortunately, processed foods generally exchange freshness for extended shelf life by adding chemical stabilizers, preservatives, dyes, artificial flavoring, and less nutrient-dense fillers like corn syrup.

In addition, to save money and increase production, factory farming methods have generally replaced humane farming practices. Animals are housed in crowded conditions to save space, fed the cheapest feed, and discarded when they become ill or when their productivity declines.

However, as people become more aware of sustainable farming practices, the tide is turning. In the case of bees, beekeepers are finding that their hives are healthier and more productive when allowed to live more natural lives. Buying natural, unprocessed, raw honey from local farms will give you the most healthful honey with the most benefits.

Usually store-bought honey contains many additives as well as additional non-honey sweetening agents. Genuine fresh honey may be cloudy or crystallized or contain bits of honeycomb, and that’s all good.

In the case of our household pets, many humans are taking advantage of BARF-type diets: Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods. This means eliminating processed ingredients in favor of the natural raw foods found in the wild, with freshness, balance, and variety. This is why we suggest homemade pet treats with natural honey instead of sugar, corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners. See recipes below.

Medicinal Uses Of Honey

Not only has honey been used for thousands of years as an oral medication and skin poultice, but it is still used today. Although all honeys have antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects, manuka honey from New Zealand by far contains the most.

Taken by mouth, honey is used to stimulate appetite, reduce cough symptoms and cough duration, ease sore throats, aid stomach ulcers, improve sleep quality during respiratory illnesses, balance gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, and help ease joint pain. When local honey is taken, it may assist with seasonal allergies due to trace amounts of pollen possibly stimulating the body’s immune system.

Honey also fights infection and stimulates healing in wounds and skin conditions such as injuries, burns, road rash, diabetes-related foot ulcers, eczema, insect bites, rashes, and hot spots. Researchers are exploring its effectiveness with psoriasis, herpes lesions, and MRSA infections.

FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions

Is it spelled “honey bee” or “honeybee?
According to the Entomological Society of America, the correct spelling is “honey bee” to specify one of many kinds of bees.

What’s The Difference Between A Nest And A Hive?
A nest is a place where a colony of honeybees builds a safe home, often in hollow trees, rock cavities, caves, or under overhanging roofs. A hive is a manmade structure built for a colony in order to harvest their honey. Archaeological evidence suggests that humans have been beekeeping for over 9,000 years.

Who Else Eats Honey?
Do bees eat honey? Bees make it for the colony to eat, but other animals such as bears, honey badgers, raccoons, opossums, skunks, and humans also eat honey. They also eat the wax and the nutritious larvae and pupae.

“Eeewwww!” you’re saying! But the larvae and pupae, referred to as “honey bee brood,” are consumed in many countries including Mexico, Australia, and Thailand. They’re commonly eaten dried or cooked, often in soups and in egg dishes.

Is Beeswax Edible?
Bees make wax from the honey they eat. The workers secrete it from glands in their abdomen, then chew it to make it soft. Originally white, it turns yellowish from absorbing pollen oils. Unlike wax made from paraffin, a petroleum product, it contains no added chemicals and is basically inert. You’ve probably already eaten it in the form of food glazes on hams, turkey, pastries, and other sweets.

Honey Recipes for Your Pets

Can birds eat honey? In treats, absolutely yes!

Homemade Bird Treats With Honey


  • 1/2 cup quality bird seed
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Optional: Finely chopped dried fruit
  • Optional: Finely chopped chilis (safe for birds according to the author)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients.
  3. Add dried fruit and chilis if used and mix well.
  4. Add water and mix well, then add honey to form a dough.
  5. If the mixture is too sticky add more seed or flour.
  6. Roll the mixture into small balls.
  7. Place lined baking tray. If you want to hang them, push holes in them with a chopstick or straw.
  8. Bake 20-30 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven when firm and beginning to brown.
  10. Once cooled store in an airtight container.
“I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land where I work and live. I pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging. I celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.”


Homemade Birdseed Treats
Honey Treat #1


  • 1 cup birdseed
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 egg white
  • Chopped nuts
  • Chopped fruit


  1. Combine birdseed, honey, and egg white.
  2. Add enough nuts and fruit to make a thick mixture.
  3. Spread on lined baking sheet let sit for two hours.
  4. Break into small chunks and serve.
These treats and several others can be made for pet birds and wild birds alike, either broken into chunks or spread into pine cones or over cuttlebones.


Honey Treat #2 ~ Birds


  • 1 cuttlebone
  • Honey
  • Birdseed


  1. Coat cuttlebone with honey, then sprinkle with birdseed.
  2. Place in freezer until seeds are firmly set.
  3. Bring to room temperature and present to pet bird.


Homemade Bird Treats With Millet


  • 2 tbsp birdseed
  • 2 tbsp oats
  • 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • Some millet
  • 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp honey


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix birdseed, oats, flour, and millet.
  3. Add water and stir.
  4. Add honey and mix until fully incorporated into a dough. Add more water or flour to make dough easy to work with and not sticky.
  5. Roll small balls and put them on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.



Homemade DOG Treats With Honey

Honey Apple Pupcakes For DOGS

Do dogs eat honey? Oh, yes!


  • 2 ¾ cups of water
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 2 tbsp raw unfiltered honey
  • 1/8 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 medium-size egg
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup dried apple chips
  • 1 tbsp baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix water, applesauce, honey, egg, and vanilla together in bowl.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and blen well.
  4. Pour into lightly greased muffin pans.
  5. Bake for 1 ¼ hours


Double Sweet-Sweet Potato Dog Cookies

Sweet potatoes contain vitamin A, B6, and fiber. These homemade dog treats are great for diabetic dogs because sweet potatoes may help stabilize blood sugar and lower insulin resistance.
Pumpkin: Substitute or add fresh or canned pumpkin for this recipe but not pumpkin pie filling.
Wheat-Free: Use a gluten-free flour like potato, rice, or oat.


  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Peel and cut sweet potato into 1-inch chunks. Place into a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a paper towel, and heat for 2 minutes or until soft.
  3. Mash soft sweet potato chunks with a fork.
  4. Stir together with the applesauce and honey.
  5. Lightly beat the egg and mix into potato mixture.
  6. Gradually stir in flour until combined.
  7. Lightly grease a baking sheet or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  8. Using a 1-inch cookie scooper, place round mounds onto the baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Cool on wire rack.
  11. Keep in refrigerator and use within one week. May be frozen for up to 6 months.

Yield: Makes approximately 20 dog cookies.


Becky Hardin’s Peanut Butter Dog Treats


  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup peanut butter (BE SURE IT CONTAINS NO XYLITOL)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons honey

For the Frosting:
⅓ cup cornstarch (or potato starch or arrowroot powder)
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
3-4 tablespoons hot water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Combine flour and egg in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add peanut butter, water, and honey. Stir until dough is stiff, mixing with your hands if necessary.
  4. Roll out dough about 1/2 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Make different shapes using cookie cutters.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden.
  6. Once done, set aside to cool (with smaller cookies, shorten baking time to prevent burning).
  7. To make frosting, combine peanut butter and honey, and microwave in 15-second increments, mixing each time.
  8. Stir melted peanut butter mixture into cornstarch until just combined.
  9. Add 1 tablespoon water at a time until reaching desired consistency.
  10. Add icing to a piping bag and pipe designs on each dog treat.
  11. Frost treats with the peanut butter/honey mixture if desired.
  12. Store in an airtight container or give as gifts!
  13. Upload an image on Instagram or tag me @thecookierookie!

Becky’s Tips:
You’re making two different frosting consistencies. Thicker frosting will hold the outline; thinner frosting will fill the inside.
To make thicker frosting, you need 2-3 tablespoons of water to be thick enough to hold its shape but thin enough to be squeezed through a piping tip. Use it to create the outline of your design and let dry about 10 minutes.
Thinner frosting requires at least 3-4 tablespoons of water. Fill in the outline with the thinner frosting, smoothing it out with your fingertip.
Since some dogs have an allergy to wheat, you can make wheat-free treats by using rice flour or coconut flour.
XYLITOL is an artificial sweetener that can be fatal to dogs, so always check food labels first! Some peanut butter contains xylitol.


Homemade CAT Treats With Honey

Raw Honey Catnip Bites

Do cats eat honey? Oh, yes!


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of organic catnip
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup milk***
  • 1/3 cup dry milk***
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 large egg
  • ****Substitute milk for almond milk or plant based milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate mixing bowls, then combine by adding the wet mixture to the dry mixture to form a dough.
  3. Roll out the dough, adding more whole wheat flour if needed.
  4. Cut dough into small shapes or squares.
  5. Bake catnip bites for about 20 minutes or until light brown.
  6. Allow to cool completely.
  7. Place in an airtight container in refrigerator or freezer.

TIP: Although many people think milk is good for cats, many can’t digest dairy products because they don’t produce lactase. Lactose is the enzyme that breaks down the sugar lactose that naturally occurs in milk products. You’ve heard of some people being lactose intolerant. Although cats can digest flour and eggs, they can’t tolerate dough containing yeast because it can cause bloating and even alcohol poisoning. If you think this recipe is one your cat will love, then get cooking!


Tuna & Honey Cat Treats


  • Cooked fresh tuna 2.5 ounces / 70 grams
  • Eggs 2 ounces / 60 grams
  • Honey 1.77 ounces / 50 grams
  • Carrots 0.7 ounces / 20 grams
  • Rice flour


  1. Preheat oven to 355F.
  2. Roast fresh tuna and pumpkin until smooth, then cool and crush.
  3. Peel and grate carrots.
  4. In a bowl, beat egg, then add carrot, tuna, and honey. If needed, add some rice flour to make an even dough.
  5. Form little balls and sprinkle with rice flour.
  6. Place the treats on greased tray or parchment paper on baking tray and bake 10-15 minutes.
  7. Cool at room temperature.
  8. Store in a tightly sealed container for 1 week.


Homemade RABBIT Treats With Honey

Do rabbits eat honey? Oh, yes!

Bunny Biscuits


  • 1 carrot, pureed carrot
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup rabbit pellets
  • 1/4 cup of oatmeal.


  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. With a coffee grinder or blender, grind the rabbit pellets and oatmeal into fine powder.
  3. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Knead dough with your hands 1-2 minutes.
  5. Roll dough into 1/4-inch layers between parchment paper or wax paper.
  6. Cut dough in small squares or cut with small cookie cutters.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn heat off and allow cookies to sit in the oven for about an hour. Refrigerate extras.


Rabbit or Guinea Pig Treats


  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup rabbit pellets
  • 2/3 cup natural or low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In large bowl mix all ingredients.
  3. Roll out dough and cut into shapes.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Turn off oven and leave treats in the oven for an hour.
  6. Serve.


Rabbit Honey Balls


  • 1/4 cup crushed Weetabix
  • 1/4 cup oats, honey,
  • 1/3 cup crushed rabbit pellets
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • Honey


  1. Mix everything together except honey.
  2. Add honey a little bit at a time just enough to make ingredients stick together.
  3. Roll into small quarter-sized balls.
  4. Serve in moderation since frequent sweets can cause dental issues, obesity, and diabetes.


Final Thoughts

Do bees eat honey? Now you know that honeybees eat honey along with many other animals. Honey is a nutritional and medicinal substance made by creatures that have helped support life on earth for millions of years.

If we claim to love animals and love our earth, then it’s our responsibility to ensure that bees are protected. Using pesticides and herbicides results in killing off bee colonies.

Maintaining grass lawns instead of flowering plants contributes to the decline of bee populations. In fact, declining diversity of plants is the main cause of the decline of native bees. Each of you reading this can make a difference! To learn more, check out our resources below after one last joke:
If there’s a bee in my hand, what’s in my eye?
Bee-eauty. Bee-eauty is in the eye of the bee-holder.


A magazine for beekeepers:

The best water for bees:

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How Long Do Crickets Live? The Amazing Cricket

Crickets have long been a fascinating insect to humanity as a whole since the beginning of their discovery in time. Depending on how we choose to perceive crickets and their many varieties has developed our initial approach to how long do crickets live?

Generally, we have always heard crickets before we have ever seen them. Their sound is a soothing symphony to most of us everywhere we go in the warmer weather and, evenings of the year. Their sound tells us that everything is okay.

It is always so impressive when we are out camping and listening to the cricket chorus in the evening when all of the sudden for some reason they all come to a complete cricket chirping stop and the forest is completely silent. Then one cricket starts chirping then several more and then the entire cricket symphony begins again.

One of the many benefits of camping and being in the woods.

How Long Do Crickets Live?

Crickets do not survive for more than a year. A field cricket dies in winter, but house crickets can survive the low temperature and live for a year inside the warm temperature of a home. On the other hand, mole crickets live deep under the ground for two years. The cricket life cycle has three stages: egg, nymph, and adult.

Crickets have four stages in their life cycle. It begins with breeding and around two weeks later the female lays her eggs in her chosen location.

where do crickets live

Crickets As Pets? It Is Possible

They make great pets to observe but are not the touchy-feely type. If you can make your cricket feel comfortable he or she will stay with you. Most crickets in the wild will see you coming and very quickly leave into whatever cover that they are close to. But there are those exceptions when cricket will jump on you or near you and that will enable you to begin the relationship-building process with the cricket, those are wonderful moments.

So, depending on how you obtain your cricket, it is best if you have a small aquarium. Next, give them a comfortable environment to observe and feed them in. Then give them objects to go in and crawl on. They do have a very curious side to them if they don’t feel threatened. This means that they will hang out with you on your hand or arm with very little movement on your part.

Go Catch A Cricket

One thing we suggest to people that are interested in having cricket as a pet is to go outside and catch one. You will instantly notice that depending on the age of the cricket that you catch is that some are more curious about you than others. They have very individual personalities. So, keep catching carefully until you catch the cricket that works for and with you.

This may take a moment because after finding them most crickets will be afraid of being approached and caught. Imagine a giant reaching down to pick you up. It brings fear to most people just thinking about it. The key to it is your approach. It should be slow and methodical.

Then once caught be still with them in your hand. Give them a moment to acclimate to being caught and in your hand. This moment of stillness will determine your relationship with your new friend. It will allow the cricket to relax and determine your intentions. If done right your cricket will stay with you. If not it will jump away. No worries just try again with another cricket. The better you get at being still the sooner your cricket will stay with you.

Yes. It is important to let the cricket choose you as well. Cricket has a choice too. Do not just catch the cricket and put it in a container. The cricket that stays with you is your new friend and pet. Love it well.

Crickets And Their Sound Of Music

When crickets make their sound it is the males calling out to the females that we hear. They do this by rubbing their wings together which makes the sound that attracts the females. Also, chirping is used to drive off other males and is a territorial display. The frequency of the cricket chirp is around 9,000 to 10,000 Hz.

Where Do Crickets Live? In The Wild

how long do crickets live

Crickets are pretty versatile with where they like to hang out and a lot of it has to do with a food source, water, climate, and preditors. So when you ask where do crickets live? It is just about anywhere where there is dirt a food source and a little bit of moisture some shade or darkness. They are pretty hardy insects as long as the environment is right.

They prefer shadows and darker places because they are nocturnal which means they prefer to be out at night and call out for their mates at night as well. Hence, their beautiful chorus in the evenings and all through the night. What peaceful joy it is to hear.

You can find crickets at the base of almost anything in nature, plants, rocks, foliage, the root base of grass where it is cool when it is hot and when it is cool where it is warm. The roots are an ideal place for the females to deposit their eggs that will hatch in about two weeks or the following season if the weather is starting to get cold.

They like to be out of sight of predators which is not an easy task for crickets. Crickets are on the menu of birds, lizards, rats, frogs, mice even kitty cats, and more. After crickets pass on the ants will make a quick clean-up of their little insect bodies. It is always interesting to watch the ants bring the cricket parts back to their house for food.

Click Here To Listen To Audios Of Various Types Of Crickets

Crickets Indoors – Crickets In The House

We have crickets in the house during the summer months. They come in where it is cooler away from the heat. Their chirping in the house is a giveaway to us and also the cats to find them and start playing with them.

That usually determines how long do crickets live in our house if we are not there to rescue the cricket and put it outside away from the kitty cats.

How Long Do Crickets Live Without Food Or Water?

The answer varies depending upon the temperature and the availability of food and a water source. Generally, to determine how long do crickets live it is dehydration that will get them first because they can eat just about anything if they have to.

From wallpaper to leather that has had food or oil on it to the fabric on your furniture it is all fair game for Crickets to eat. Also, the clothes in your closet other insects, fruit, and dead carcass even each other if there is no other food source the dominant cricket will prevail.

Generally how long do crickets live is around a week or two without food or water depending on the environment that they are in. They can live up to a year if the environment is right.

How Do Crickets Reproduce 

The male calls out to the female by chirping. He rubs his wings together to make his soothing sound. The sound that they make is species-specific so that he attracts the right female to him. When she arrives the male and female mate.

She then carries the seamen with her fertilizing her eggs and moves on to deposit her eggs in the ground or a chosen location. She does this by inserting a long tube from her abdomen into the ground that is called an ovipositor.

The female can lay quite a few eggs per day. After she deposits her egg in about two weeks the young emerge from their eggs as nymphs. They are very small and do not have wings at this point in their journey. If the eggs are laid in the fall months the eggs will hatch the following spring when the weather is warmer and conducive to the youngs success.

The young go through a series of moltings. This is where the outside of their body coverings crack open and they emerge as a new and larger cricket. They walk out of the clear covering and leave it behind. This can occur about six to eight times to the point that they are adults and have grown wings.


How Do Crickets Hear?

Crickets have small eardrums behind their knees on their legs that allow them to hear sound and feel vibrations. They spend a lot of time cleaning their legs so they stay clean but also to keep their hearing in perfect order.

How To Identify A Male Or Female Cricket

The Females have two antennae looking like things coming out of the back of their abdomen called cerci. The middle antennae is the ovipositor which she uses to lays her eggs through. The males have only two antennae or cerci at the end of their abdomen.

What Do Crickets Like To Eat?

what do crickets eat

When it comes to how long do crickets live Crickets are Omnivorous which means they can eat both plant and animal parts or just about whatever is available to them. This attribute makes them highly successful in the insect world. Being able to eat whatever is available increases their chance of survival and allows them to adapt to changing environments.

How Long Do Crickets Chirp At Night?

A Cricket’s day is at night. This is called nocturnal behavior when they do their living during their day at night. You will hear Crickets chirp during the day because they are in a dark place or under something that keeps the light away from them but that is the exception and not the rule. The warmer the weather the louder the chirping because they are simply more active in a warmer climate.

Crickets have different chirps for different occasions. They call out louder to attract female crickets. They tone it down when females approach and mate with the males and they have a softer after courtship chirp when they are done matting.

Male crickets have a loud aggressive chirp to ward off other competing male crickets and it is a way to also get the females to pay attention to them as well.

It is the male cricket that creates the sound of chirping to attract the females and they do this by rubbing ruff spots together on their wings. The left-wing has many ribs on it and this area is called the file. The right-wing is called the scraper and when the Cricket learns how to play his wings by rubbing them together he produces the sounds of attraction and repulsion that we hear at night and in the warmer weather of the year.

What Is The Difference Between Crickets And Grasshoppers?

whats the difference between grasshoppers an crickets

At first glance, it appears that there are not many differences between Crickets and Grasshoppers but upon closer examination, there are striking differences.

Because Crickets are active during the nighttime hours they have colors that correspond with the night such as shades of blacks and browns tans and light greens. Better to blend in and hide from predators that determine how long do crickets live.

Grasshoppers are out during the day and correspondingly they have shades of greens and browns coloring to match the foliage that they are on or around. Again blending into the environment that they are in so that they are not as obvious to predators.

When it comes to size the Grasshopper is larger. Anywhere from one and a half inches to four inches long. The Cricket will size in at around three-quarters of an inch to two inches long.

Also, the Grasshopper has larger back legs than do Crickets.

Crickets have longer antennae than do Grasshoppers.

Do Crickets Fly?

Yes, some do. In particular, when it comes to how long do crickets live the House Cricket and the Field Cricket have wings and do fly as a means of avoiding predators or danger. There are Crickets that do not have wings and mainly live in the ground such as the Jerusalem Cricket.

The Camel Cricket does not have wings and on an interesting note is not part of the Gryllidae family but it looks like a Cricket and is often seen and is so associated with Crickets.

Concluding Thoughts

How long do crickets live? Well, we’ve talked about not only the actual time frames that crickets do live but about the conditions and factors that determine the cricket’s lifespan.  The identification between a cricket and a grasshopper should be clear now and how you can befriend these beautiful creatures. And now you know their favorite habitats and intricate details about their unique anatomy such as how crickets hear.  Above all, crickets create a beautiful symphony for us during certain seasons if we only tune in and receive their bountiful gift.  

Other Posts of Interest

What Do Butterflies Eat? And How To Attract Them To Your Yard
Cockatiel Lifespan: Everything You Need To Know Guide 2022
Where Do Seagulls Sleep? Gulls Sleep In The Open

Cockatiel Lifespan: Everything You Need To Know Guide 2022

Cockatiel Lifespan: How long do cockatiels live? These highly intelligent little birds from Australia are a type of parrot. In the wild, they live in flocks, mate for life, and live 10 to 15 years. How long do cockatiels live in captivity as pets? The truth is that you have the power to extend their longevity by giving them special care. Read on and we’ll tell you about the longest cockatiel lifespan recorded so far.

What Is The Average Cockatiel Lifecycle & Daily Routine?

In their native habitat, cockatiels are nomadic, traveling in pairs or flocks following the food supply. They prefer open areas like grasslands, open woodlands, and farmlands near bodies of water. Although they forage on the ground, they sleep and nest in trees.

Spring rains trigger mating behavior. After a romantic courtship of dancing and chirping, the bonded couple will set up the nursery in a hollow tree cavity. It takes about 20 days for the five or so eggs to hatch.

Both parents care for the fast-growing hatchlings who are ready to leave the nest after five weeks. Growing just over a foot long, they’re ready to start their own families after a year and a half.

How Long Do Cockatiels Sleep & What Are Night Frights?

how long do cockatiels sleep

Cockatiels are diurnal, becoming active when the sun rises and going to sleep when the sun goes down. Their night vision is poor so they easily startle at night. Disturbances in the dark such as sudden noises or bright flashes can cause them to panic, especially if they feel trapped.

You’ve heard of people dying from heart attacks caused by terror: this happens to birds. Always keep a soft light in the room where your birds sleep and leave some openings in the drape over their cage so they can see out. Birds in a new environment are especially prone to night frights, so if you hear sudden thrashing or screaming sounds, reassure them in a gentle, soft voice until they calm down.

Cockatiel Psychology: How Your Cockatiel Thinks & Feels

Cockatiels like bright colors, making a racket, exploring, climbing, and dismantling things. They’re mostly herbivores – vegetarians – and ever wary of predators such as eagles, hawks, snakes, and cats. Having a prey mentality means being alert, watchful, and more likely to flee than fight. In many ways tiels are like horses: curious, intelligent, and loving, but cautious and easily spooked.

When you have cockatiels as pets, you’ll want to introduce new situations, whether objects, sounds, or activities, gently and gradually so your birds won’t feel threatened. Since they consider you a member of their flock, they’ll observe everything you do. And copy you. For example, they’ll more readily accept new foods if they see you eating them.

You can demonstrate a new toy or a water sprayer to your birds by letting them see you enjoy it first. The importance of the flock in a cockatiel’s life means that birds live happier lives with a companion tiel.

Brainy Birds Vs. Birdbrains

Some studies show that birds have more neurons in their brains than mammals, including humans. They crave mentally stimulating activities, especially with food as a reward. Tiels love to learn tricks. They enjoy the challenge but they also enjoy making their humans laugh.

In addition to having good memories, they’re expert mimics and often learn to imitate whistles and chirpy songs. They quickly learn to understand some words and even say a few. Cockatiels demonstrate emotional intelligence by responding to situations with joy, grief, depression, and even humor. We’ll talk about toys and games for these brainy birds shortly.

Learning to Understand & Speak Cockatiel Language

Like humans, cockatiels use a combination of sounds and body language to express themselves and communicate messages. Their vocal language includes soft clucks and chirps, whistles, repeated sounds, complex songs, location checks, alarm calls, and danger screeches. They also hiss to indicate displeasure and make scritching sounds with their beaks to indicate contentment.

You’ll notice that the crests on their heads are always moving. An erect crest indicates alertness, whether from surprise, something interesting, or a disturbance. When flattened, the crest usually indicates preparation for a squabble. Similar to other flock animals, they have a variety of wing, tail, and body positions to communicate with each other. You can find hours of videos to see more.

Cockatiel culture: They usually do a morning and evening check-in, a roll-call repeated back and forth to make sure everybody’s okay. As a flock member, you should take part and respond appropriately. Social vocalizations and displays include companionable “conversation,” courting, squabbling, invitations to explore, and danger warnings. Asocial displays showing aggression are intended for intruders and predators.

Why Is Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness?

This proverb from ancient texts is as true as it ever was because hygiene is the key to health. In the wild, birds can fly to clean locations whenever necessary, but keeping them in a dirty cage will shorten their lives. ?

The cockatiel lifespan will be lengthened and the quality of life improved if you clean the cage often and give your birds the opportunity to bathe daily.

Bathing not only moisturizes dry skin but also conditions feathers. Keratin is the protective fibrous protein substance that helps make up birds’ feathers, beaks, and nails.

Regular bathing also reduces feather dust. Cockatiels generate more than any other bird species. This white powder comes from the breakdown of the keratin sheath on feathers and from specialized down feathers that help insulate and waterproof birds’ bodies. In captivity, they can inhale too much of it and develop respiratory problems.

How To Bathe Your Cockatiel

Each tiel has his or her own individual preferences when it comes to bathing. Morning is best because then they have all day to dry naturally without getting chilled at night. Keep windows closed and fans turned off to prevent drafts. Don’t ever use a hairdryer on your birds – as they preen their wet feathers, they’re cleaning themselves while distributing oils and natural powder over their bodies. Here are three methods of bathing:

  • Offer a shallow dish or pan, wide enough to allow space to flap their wings, and with a solid base to prevent tipping over. Use an inch or so of room temperature water. Remove it when they finish.
  • Mist with room temperature water, being sure to spray high so the mist falls down upon them instead of directly into their faces. If it’s their first time, let them observe you spraying your own skin so they realize that there’s no danger.
  • A few birds like the faucet in the sink or the shower, but only experienced bird people should try this method. The stream has to be room temperature and low pressure. The basin should be sanitized with a pet-friendly cleaner. Fumes from ammonia or bleach are toxic to birds. Finally, be sure your pet has a perch, towel, or secure place to stand.

Are Cockatiels Good Pets & Is A Cockatiel A Good First Bird For Beginners?

are cockatiels good pets

Sometimes the best thing we can do for a pet is not get one. Birds require attention and specialized care. You’ll need to find a veterinarian specially trained to treat birds. Cockatiels can be messy, loving to play with their food by knocking the seed hulls as far as they can. They shed their feathers, which drift through the room when they flap their wings.

Feather dust is a known allergen for many humans, and cockatiels produce a lot. For those reasons, if you’re prone to allergies, do research before adopting cockatiels as pets. Another thing: cockatiels are as loud and chatty as human kids. Louder, even! Finally, how long is a Cockatiel’s lifespan? Because healthy birds can live for decades, you’ll want to be sure to have a backup plan in case something happens to you.

Releasing them into the wild would be the same as someone dumping you alone in a strange city. Check out online groups for bird-lovers so you can learn more about living with cockatiels.

What Do Cockatiels Eat & What Is The Best Cockatiel Diet?

Their main diet consists of plant materials like seeds, sprouts, grains and grasses, fruits, vegetables, and whatever else appears interesting. With their strong beaks, they can pick open nuts and break hard foods into small pieces. Opportunistic feeders, they’ll nibble on insects and meat bits when available.

Because these birds are ground foragers, you’ll often hear your tiels making small clucking sounds as they happily poke around the bottom of their cage in search of food. Fresh and naturally dried fruits and veggies should make up about a fifth of their diet. They also need a cuttlebone or mineral block to provide calcium, vitamin D, and the added benefit of beak trimming.

Should I Feed My Bird Seeds Or Pellets?

Cockatiels, like humans, need a varied diet with a balance of the right kind of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and water. In captivity, they depend entirely on you. Nutrition science is constantly evolving as researchers learn new things.

High-quality pellets are based on up-to-date information, but pellets still leave out certain natural ingredients containing micronutrients. Most bird experts believe that the best compromise for captive birds is a mix of high-grade pellets with a natural seed mix designed for cockatiels, and supplemented by fresh veggies and fruits. Cockatiel food, while similar to some parrot and parakeet formulations, is NOT the same.

How long is the Cockatiel Lifespan? They’ll definitely live longer when you choose organic American-sourced food without added dyes, preservatives, pesticides, or other unnecessary additives. For the healthiest, happiest, longest cockatiel lifespan, feed them right.

Note: Don’t be fooled by a seed cup that looks as though it’s still full at the end of the day! Your birds will eat the seeds but leave all those hulls sitting there, except for the ones they fling out of the cup for fun.

What Foods Are Toxic to Cockatiels?

cockatiel lifespan

They can eat almost any natural, unprocessed food you eat except the following:

  • Avocado
  • Cabbage: While not immediately poisonous, the leaves contain substances that build up in the cockatiel’s system; others interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients
  • Caffeine
  • Celery strings: May cause blockages in the digestive tract
  • Chocolate
  • Dairy
  • Eggplant
  • Fats
  • Fruit pits and fruit seeds: Many contain a cyanide-like compound
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Peanuts: Peanuts aren’t a problem but they commonly harbor a toxic fungus
  • Potatoes (raw)
  • Rhubarb
  • Salt
  • Tomatoes (raw): Many veterinarians think they are too acidic when raw
  • Xylitol: A commonly used sweetener toxic to many animals

How Should I Give My Cockatiel Water?

Cockatiels need fresh water daily. If you wouldn’t drink it, don’t leave it for them. Safe water from the tap, a well, a spring, or a bottle is acceptable. Since not all water sources are regulated, filtered water is safest. Distilled water isn’t recommended because it lacks natural minerals.

Although water bottle sippers are convenient for humans, they tend to build up colonies of invisible bacteria. Bowls of fresh water placed away from perches are better. In the wild cockatiels can fly to the best water sources. Water from hoses, barrels, and other uncovered containers is likely contaminated.

To increase your tiels’ water intake, offer treats such as cucumbers and apples. In wondering about the cockatiel lifespan, you now see some of the factors in promoting long life.

What Kind of Cage Does A Cockatiel Need?

how long do cockatiels live in captivity

Social Distancing

Cockatiels need space to stretch and exercise their wings. In fact, birds who can’t do this often develop fatty tumors and become obese. Since two cockatiels are happier than one alone, you’ll need to plan ahead to ensure space for two flapping birds.

The issue is not “fitting” into a cage, but having room to thrive. There needs to be space for several perches of different thicknesses, and room on the bottom for foraging. That means buying the largest size you can afford, one made of rust-resistant metal without toxic paint or fragile coatings.

Stainless steel cages can last up to half a century (How long do cockatiels live in captivity? Not quite that long!) Powder-coated steel cages are increasingly popular because of their durability and safety. Galvanized wire cages are prone to chipping and flaking, allowing birds to ingest toxic levels of lead and zinc.

Aluminum cages provide a strong, lightweight, and eco-friendly alternative, but they can be expensive. The ideal cage will have caster wheels for moving around and a secure latch.

Location, Location, Location

Place the cage away from drafts and vents, direct sunlight, frequent movement, and loud noises. You also want to avoid a location where potential predators like cats can terrorize them. Being social critters, tiels enjoy being around you, and they’re interested in whatever you’re doing.

Cage placement also involves avoiding the possibility of toxic fumes from cleaning supplies, paints, and even overheating Teflon pans. Canaries were used for years in mines to detect carbon monoxide because birds are so sensitive to toxic gas.

Let There Be Light

Filtered full-spectrum UV light is essential during the day. At the same time, they require access to shade to prevent overheating. For an optimum cockatiel lifespan, ensure adequate sleep by partially covering their cage around sundown. Leave some openings so they can peek out, and use a nightlight or other soft light in the room. Uncover them as close to sunrise as your schedule allows.

Can I Let My Cockatiel Fly Free?

In the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull, the seagulls talk about freedom, commenting that “the gull sees farthest who flies highest.” (To learn more about other intelligent birds, check out our blog on seagulls.) It’s vital for the cockatiel lifespan and emotional well-being to spend time outside the cage.

Many bird lovers create a special bird playstation on top of the cage. More about bird playgrounds when we talk about cockatiel toys. But did you know that you can buy harnesses and leashes for your tiels? Your birds will need to be trained from an early age, and you’ll need some training yourself to use the equipment safely.

Should You Clip Your Cockatiel’s Wings?

When done for the right reason by an experienced and knowledgeable person, clipping is painless. The main benefit is to prevent attempts to fly while injured. Clipping a bird’s wings for the convenience of having a controllable pet is like taping up toddlers’ legs to keep them out of trouble.

Flying is a natural part of healthy bird behavior that plays a role in their psychological and physical well-being. When performed by an untrained person, wing clipping can cause psychological trauma as well as painful infections and even death. All of us with pets have had to modify our homes – it’s our responsibility when we choose to share our lives with animals.

Bird-proofing the home means checking ceiling fans, wall hangings and mirrors, cords, blinds, open windows, open doors, location of other pets, and active children. You’ll want to train your birds to come to you as well as to return to their cage. You can gently “herd” them with a wooden cane that resembles a branch. Using a butterfly net to catch them risks breaking feathers and bones as well as causing emotional trauma.

What Are the Best Bird Toys?

Toys are not just toys. In the wild, cockatiels use their beaks and claws in the daily routine of survival when climbing as well as picking apart food. Toys not only keep their skills sharp and their muscles developed but also relieve boredom.

You can use yourself as a good comparison. What grown-up toys and activities do you enjoy? Driving the car? Gardening? Making music? Websurfing? Makeup? Photography? Sports? Puzzles? Crafts? Your cockatiels need the same kinds of recreation to satisfy their need for mental and physical exercise.

Because tiels are basically ground feeders, they enjoy picking through fresh grass and hay or under sheets of clean newspaper in search of food. They like chewing things apart. If your birds quickly destroy their toys, that means you’ve chosen well! Whether you make or buy toys, be sure to choose clean non-toxic materials. You can assemble playstations and playgrounds by putting several items together and placing them on top of the cage or on top of newspapers on a safe surface. Many rabbit and infant toys are ideal. Here are some suggestions below.

Specifics On Best Toys

  • Perches of different thickness
  • Things to climb like ladders and chains
  • Things that move like rings and swings
  • Things to crawl through like cardboard tubes and ferret huts
  • Mirrors
  • Musical toys such as bells, chimes, crackly paper, or even xylophones
  • Fabric, straw, wood, cardboard, and paper items of different textures and colors to pick apart
  • Foraging toys such as tubes or or balls made of paper, cardboard, or straw stuffed with hidden treats

You can also find videos and tutorials on the internet on games to play with your cockatiel, tricks to teach them, and ways to encourage singing and talking. Enjoy everyday activities with them by sharing videos, playing music, and even demonstrating simple processes such as twisting jar lids and zipping zippers. How long do cockatiels live? Longer with toys and games and lots of fun!

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Cockatiels & The Cockatiel Lifespan

how long do male cockatiels live

What is the cockatiel lifespan compared to parakeets?
Cockatiels live approximately 10 to 20 years while parakeets live from 5 to 10 years although sometimes longer.

What’s the Oldest Cockatiel on Record?
According to the Guiness World Records, the oldest known documented cockatiel was named Sunshine and living in New Mexico in 2016 at the age of 32. A bird that lived to age 36 is widely reported but still unconfirmed.

How Can You Tell the Age of a Cockatiel?
One of the ways to guess an adult’s age is by looking at the size of the cheek patches, which grow larger with time. Another way is timing how long they sleep – older birds may sleep up to 18 hours daily. Tail feathers provide a clue: shorter in younger birds but longer than the body length after one year.

Longer nails, curved inward and slightly cracked, indicate an older bird. Foot scales increase in number and are rougher in older birds. Finally, younger birds have larger eyes that appear smaller as the years go by.

Final Thoughts: What Do Cockatiels Need to Be Happy and Healthy?

Now you have lots of answers to your question, “How long do cockatiels live?” You understand that what you do really matters in the cockatiel lifespan. A happy flock is a healthy flock, and that means for you, too!


How to Decide if a Cockatiel Is Right for You Cockatiel Behavior a Second Cockatiel with Cockatiels to Increase the Cockatiel Lifespan

Where Do Seagulls Sleep? Gulls Sleep In The Open

Seagulls are mysterious and beautiful birds floating on air currents as they call out with piercing mews. What are they saying? Where do they live? Come to think of it, where do seagulls sleep?

In the imaginations of sailors and poets! Ever since humans began making boats to sail the seas, they’ve wondered where seagulls go when they fly so high and free. They find a safe, quiet spot to sleep at night, but we’re going to tell you all the places where seagulls sleep in a moment — some of the answers might surprise you! Let’s look at the lives of these magical birds.

Technically There Is No Such Bird as a Seagull

Over 50 species of gulls exist worldwide, ranging from the Arctic to the Antarctic and everywhere in between. They’re like the United States Marines in that they thrive “on the air, on land, and sea.” Although we commonly refer to them as seagulls because most live by the sea near the coast or islands, some live inland and even in deserts.

Gulls have been around for over 30 million years, descended from Ichthyornis, a small ancient seabird with teeth that lived in flocks that fished together while dinosaurs roamed the earth. Today gulls range in size from 11-40 inches beak to tail. Some of the biggest gulls have wingspans over five feet.

Some people have asked, “Are seagulls eagles?” but they’re not. In the same family as terns, they’re distantly related to shoreline wading birds. They live in noisy flocks ranging from a few nesting pairs to thousands of individuals.

Natural predators of eggs and chicks include cats, raccoons, foxes, and birds of prey such as hawks and eagles. Adult birds are watchful for larger predators such as eagles, seals, sharks, and humans. To protect themselves, they often use the strategy of mobbing, a team effort to drive off enemies by screaming, dive-bombing, and even pooping and vomiting on the offenders. You’ve probably heard of crows doing this.

Where Do Seagulls Sleep?

where do seagulls sleep

Where do seagulls go at night? If you’re wondering, “Do seagulls fly at night?” then you’ll get your answer as you keep reading. Hint: They have to do whatever it takes to find food and safety. Gulls are generally diurnal, meaning that they’re most active during daylight hours.

Whether they live by the sea or by lakes and rivers, they like to sleep in calm water as well as on sandbars and beaches where predators can’t get to them without coming out in the open. Urban and suburban gulls will settle on rooftops, dumpsters, in parks, and even in your backyard. Although gulls prefer nocturnal rest, they will fly and forage at night if that’s what it takes to find a meal.

Where Do Birds Go at Night?

Birds are like all other animals in that each species has its own special habits. Usually their favorite food determines their sleep and wake habits. The other determinant of sleep habits is safety. Different birds perch on high branches, hide in crevices of rocks and buildings, or hunker down in their nests when they’re raising young. One of the benefits of belonging to a flock is that there’s safety in numbers.

Do Seagulls Sleep in Trees?

Because gulls are accustomed to being out in the open, that’s where they feel the most comfortable. With their wide wingspread, they can’t maneuver well among tangled tree branches. And speaking of branches, look at gulls’ feet! They’re made for walking on sand and paddling in water, not gripping onto a perch.

How Do Seagulls Sleep?

Seagulls and most other birds do something that humans can’t do. Half of their brain stays awake in order to watch for predators while the other half gets its rest. This is called “unihemispheric sleep,” referring to one hemisphere of the brain sleeping while the other stands guard. Opening their eyes every five to ten minutes is another way to monitor what’s going on around them.

Where Do Seagulls Sleep when It Rains?

seagulls at the beach

Gulls on the open ocean can ride the air currents and fly around or above a rainstorm. Other gulls can fly inland away from the storm or take temporary shelter in a warm, dry spot in rocks or hedges.

What Time Do Seagulls Wake Up?

When do seagulls sleep? Are there any nocturnal seagulls? As we’ve mentioned, most species of seagulls are diurnal, meaning that they wake up with the sun. However, if a meal beckons, they will fly and hunt at night, especially near the bright lights of a city.

What Do Seagulls Eat?

First, ask what they drink! They can drink saltwater as well as freshwater! Similar to the way we sweat saltwater, they have a special gland near their eyes where salt is concentrated and excreted through their nostrils.

Regarding their eating habits, they’re opportunistic scavengers, taking advantage of whatever is available. They prefer a mostly carnivorous diet like crabs, shrimp, fish of all kinds, shellfish, small birds, eggs, insects, worms, amphibians such as frogs and salamanders, small reptiles, and rodents.

They do eat some plant material including fruit and seeds. They have jaws like snakes’ that unhinge so they can swallow big things. In addition to the titles “scavenger” and “carnivore,” you can also add the title of “kleptoparasite,” which is another word for moocher.

Not only will they swoop down to nab a sandwich out of your hand, but they’ll steal food from each other, and have even becut en observed to wait for diving birds to surface so they can snatch their catch.

FUN FACT: A Cute Seagull Joke ~
Why do seagulls live by the sea?
Because if they lived by the bay, they would be bagels!

Is It Ok To Feed Seagulls?

Seagulls love it when you feed them and get spoiled pretty quickly on junk food. Why go chasing after slippery fish when people are giving you cheeseburgers? They communicate with each other about food sources, so the entire flock knows where to find freebies.

However, since humans don’t eat a fresh, nutrient-dense B.A.R.F. diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) balanced for seagull’s needs, birds that eat mostly people food end up malnourished. Malnutrition in birds often affects the development of the eggs and young. What’s more, seagulls don’t use human toilet facilities but instead, let loose their business to splat wherever they happen to be at the moment.

And that’s how they make enemies. The situation could really get bad like that famously terrifying Hitchcock movie. Therefore, do not feed seagulls.

How Do Seagulls Communicate?

Just like your dog or cat, seagulls have a large vocabulary of vocal sounds to communicate. In fact, each species has its own language. Most calls involve what you’d expect:

  • ”Beat it! This is my turf!”
  • ”Hello, my little chickadee! Come on over here and let’s chat!”
  • ”Danger! Danger! Hawk at twelve o’clock high!”
  • ”Old donuts in the dumpster — come on, gang!”
  • ”Mommy! Daddy! Feed me! Regurgitate right here into my beak!”

Where Do Seagulls Nest?

where do seagulls nest

Most seagulls are ground-nesting, taking advantage of a hollow depression, often on the side of a cliff, and line it with vegetation, feathers, even plastic. For protection, they nestle next to a rock, bush, or log. Each pair has its own nesting territory that it defends from invaders, although the birds flock together to seek food.

They mate in the spring after returning from the winter migration back to the same site they left. Gulls generally mate for life. Laying two or three eggs, the parents take turns egg-sitting while the other searches for food. Where do seagulls sleep? At this point in their lives, they sleep in their nests.

Seagulls At The Beach — What Are They Doing?

They’re watching you eat, that’s what they’re doing! Like many birds, they’re also drawn to shiny objects, so if they spot metal flashing in the sun, they want to investigate. If they can grab it, they often will. If you want to keep them away, don’t let them be tempted by seeing your food or jewelry and keys.

Some people put a seagull scarecrow up in the form of a large imitation owl or hawk. Finally, bring bright red and yellow blankets and towels that gulls perceive as a danger signal.

Why Do Seagulls Hang Out In Parking Lots?

Gulls hang out in parking lots for two reasons. The first is that many species of gulls live far from the open ocean – they inhabit areas around lakes and rivers which are often next to towns. Parking lots often surround restaurants and dumpsters, both of which attract insects, small birds, and rodents. The second reason is that the flatness of the parking lot allows a good panoramic view to spot approaching danger.

There’s one more reason that gulls sometimes flock together unexpectedly at an inland location, and that is impending severe weather. Because the birds are sensitive to changes in barometric pressure as well as infrasound pulses too low for humans to hear, they often fly miles inland to find safety a few days before the onset of a severe storm or earthquake.

Who Was Jonathan Livingston Seagull?

how long do seagulls live

In 1970, American author Richard Bach published a small book about the story of a young seagull who feels restless and bored with the daily routines of living and squabbling for food. He wonders about what else there is in life.

The result of such questioning and nonconformity is getting kicked out of the flock. The novella traces his adventures and ultimate return to seagull society. The story immediately became a worldwide bestseller because of its simplicity and universal appeal. It explored the journey of imagination, spirituality, and following your own heart. Here are a few famous quotes:

  • “The gull sees farthest who flies highest”
  • “You are always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past.”
  • “We choose our next world through what we learn in this one. Learn nothing, and the next world is the same as this one, all the same limitations and lead weights to overcome.”
  • “Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.”

Who’s a Birdbrain?

The answer to the question, “How long do seagulls live?” lies partially with the incredible intelligence of these birds. In fact, they’re classified as one of the most intelligent of all birds right up with ravens and parrots. Not only can they use tools but they also learn new foraging techniques. They even pass the knowledge on to their young.

People have observed seagulls using chunks of bread to lure fish close to the surface to be easily caught. Seagulls have also dropped shellfish onto rocks and concrete to break them open in the same way ravens crack nuts to eat. The practice of passing on new learning to the next generation extends beyond instinct to one of the characteristics of culture and society. Only humans are birdbrains.


What If I Find An Injured Seagull?

Before taking action, be sure that the bird is really injured instead of temporarily stunned. You can call a local wildlife rehabilitator in your state to find out how to proceed. Most nature centers have a wildlife expert available as well. If you must handle the bird, be sure to wear gloves and eye and face protection. Lightly wrapping a blanket over the bird will block its view from frightening stimuli while gently restraining it from panicking or attacking.

Do Seagulls Make good pets?

Even if you can answer questions like what’s the best seagull diet, where do seagulls sleep, how much exercise do seagulls need, will seagulls get along with my cat, what if my seagull escapes, how do I give my seagull medicine, who will take care of my seagull if I get sick, how will my seagull’s social needs be met without more seagulls in the house, etc., keeping a seagull is illegal in most states.

How Long Do Seagulls Live?

Healthy birds can enjoy an average lifespan of 15-30 years, but the oldest known seagull lived almost half a century. Chicks grow their flight feathers a month or two after hatching and begin foraging on their own for food. They reach sexual maturity in three or four years.

How Fast Can Seagulls Fly?

Seagulls are built for speed and can fly 20-40 miles per hour.

Do Seagulls Migrate?

Different gull species migrate along different paths. Most northern species migrate to warmer regions farther south when the weather turns cold. The farthest route extends from Canada to South America and back again.

Final Thoughts

Now you know the answer to your question, “Where do seagulls sleep?” and so much more! To quote from Jonathan Livingston Seagull, “One school is finished, and the time has come for another to begin.” We’re lucky to live in a world with so many intelligent, beautiful animals with such magical powers.

Other Posts Of Interest

What Do Butterflies Eat? And How To Attract Them To Your Yard

Mariposa, Schmitter, Papillon; it doesn’t matter how you say it or in what language you say it, butterflies are just plain fascinating and beautiful. If you have watched these lovely creatures flit about out in the wild or in your yard at home, you have probably wondered a lot about them, such as, “What Do Butterflies Eat?”

How can you get more butterflies to come into your yard? How long do butterflies live? Where do butterflies sleep, or do they even sleep at all? These questions, and many others, are exactly what causes people to be so fascinated by these simple insects. You may even be pleasantly surprised and pleased by the answers to many of your butterfly questions.

What Do Butterflies Eat?

People watch butterflies land on flowers and plants. They assume that butterflies “eat” the plants or flowers. However, that’s not how eating and digestion work for the 17,500 different sub-species of butterflies in the world today.

When you are wondering “What do butterflies eat?”, you must first understand that butterflies do not have teeth or working mouthparts the way animals do. They are, after all, insects. Their mouthparts consist of a proboscis, which curls into a coil and sits resting under their heads when they are not trying to consume their meals. When they are ready to eat, the long, thin proboscis uncurls into a straight, stick-like siphon.

The butterfly uses these mouthparts to tap into a flower’s center, where nectar collects. The butterfly lives strictly on nectar alone as a food source, although some sub-species may also consume droplets of dew as a means of staying hydrated. (Dew is their water drink of choice.)

While butterflies prefer nectar, they are not entirely opposed to “tasting” anything sweet. They may land and use their proboscis to “taste” something like a blot of ice cream on the sidewalk, dripping sap or honey on a tree, or even the sugar syrup humans make to entice hummingbirds to a hummingbird feeder. However, the nutrition butterflies need is in the flowers they visit.

How Do Butterflies Taste? Their Remarkable Sensing Ability

how do butterflies taste

To clarify, this is about how butterflies use their own sense of taste, not how butterflies themselves taste to humans, birds, or other predators. If you watch butterflies long enough, you might start to realize that butterflies will land on almost anything green or colorful, but they only seem to drink from certain flowers or plants.

For a long time, it was assumed that butterflies taste with their proboscis. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Yet some very observant scientists finally noticed that butterflies don’t always unfurl their proboscis on everything they land on. Still, a butterfly might walk around on a flower or plant for several minutes without seeming to drink or eat.

It could be that the butterfly is just taking a rest, but it is far more likely that it is tasting with its feet! You see, the butterfly has developed a very unique way to smell and taste things without eating them. It uses the receptors on its legs to first smell an object and then taste it.

In this way, the butterfly recognizes what is safe to eat because it has already smelled an object and tasted it just by landing on it. The butterfly can also tell if the flower is something it likes the taste of or has drank from before.

If by tasting and smelling something the butterfly realizes that it isn’t safe to consume or just tastes bad, it flies away. It preserves its own life and what precious little time it has on this planet by not eating something that is not good.

What Do Butterflies Eat in Winter When There Are No Flowers?

When you wonder about what do butterflies eat in winter, it’s simple. They don’t. Butterflies have very short lifespans and tend to live through the warmer months, breeding in late summer or early fall one last time, and then dying.

However, there are some species, like the beautiful orange and black monarch butterfly, that migrate to warmer climates. These migrating sub-species will find and consume nectar from more flowers in those climates. They may or may not survive the winter there before migrating north again.

Do Butterflies Eat Honey?

do butterflies eat honey

Honey is essentially the digested pollen bees gather and deposit in a honeycomb. While it is very sweet, a butterfly is not likely to consume it on a regular basis, especially if there are plenty of flowers around.

However, you may be able to draw the attention of butterflies by placing some watered-down honey in a feeder outside your home. (You may also draw bees, wasps, and hornets, so be careful about where you place this honey-water feeder.)

Likewise, sweet tree sap of fruit trees or maple trees will draw the attention of butterflies. You may see them land and “taste” with their legs. You may even see them uncurl their proboscises for a “drink”. Yet, the standard food for almost all butterflies is the nectar in flowers and flowering shrubs or trees.

What Do Butterflies Eat in Terms of Flowers?

what flowers do butterflies eat

Like most people you are probably wondering, “What flowers do butterflies eat?”

The sweetest flowers draw the most attraction to butterflies. These flowers might be actual flowers, or they might be blossoms on a bush or tree. Butterflies really love cherry and apple trees, blueberry bushes, and tulip trees. They are partial to mint, honeysuckle, lavender, lilacs, and a few other fragrant flowering bushes.

As for flowers, butterflies love snapdragons, phlox, hollyhocks, cornflowers, daylilies, lupines and pansies. There are many other flowering plants and flowers you can plant to encourage these colorful and delicate creatures to visit your yard.

The best thing is that it is easy to combine colors and heights of these plants to create a continuous show all spring, summer, and early fall.

How Do Butterflies Mate?

how do butterflies mate

It is rare to witness the mating of butterflies. They have made an art form of making love and creating life, and they have done it with more intent for survival than any other reason. This is because a long courtship sitting on a flower makes them perfect prey for anything that would eat a butterfly.

When you want to know “How do butterflies mate?”, it is quite the show. Male butterflies do a little dance to show off for nearby females. Interested females will step forward for a closer look. The males then release mating pheromones that get the females excited and ready to mate.

The male picks a willing female and they literally hook up butt end to butt end. Then they fly around for up to a full day (24 hours) like this to avoid being eaten while they mate.

During this flight of love, the male shoots a sperm packet into the end of the female. Then they finally separate. Most males will die off after courtship because their life cycles are complete. Females will live long enough to lay eggs anywhere where it is safe to lay eggs.

A Unique Amazing Fertilzation Process

As each egg leaves the female butterfly’s abdomen, it passes through the pocket of sperm left behind by the male. It is fertilized before it is ejected and stuck to a leaf or other surface. In a few days to just a couple of weeks, the eggs hatch and tiny caterpillars enter the world to begin the butterfly life cycle all over again.

Some eggs may overwinter with certain butterfly sub-species. When that happens, the eggs will not hatch until they feel the warmth of the sun and surrounding air. For this reason, you should leave any butterfly eggs you find outside alone. They will be alright eventually.

What Do Butterflies Eat When They Are Mating?

They might not eat at all. Considering that they are in flight for most of the sexual relationship, eating is not on their minds. Additionally, the male will not need much nourishment as most male butterflies die shortly after their mating ritual.

IF the mating pair decide to take a short flight break, they will land on a flower still conjoined at the ends of their abdomens.

Females may take a short meal or two during mating because it takes a lot to mate and then begin creating eggs. If you happen to witness a mating pair of butterflies still joined and on a flower or bush, leave them be. They are very busy trying to create hundreds more of themselves for you to enjoy next year.

What Do Butterflies Eat When They Are Caterpillars vs. Full Grown Butterflies?

When you think of caterpillars, you might imagine those fuzzy, wriggly, little worm-like bugs that you find on a lot of plants. Some are very pretty, some are very fuzzy, soft, or woolly, and some have amazing defense systems for warding off predators.

Caterpillars have voracious appetites. They can eat their way through entire fields of plants before finally entering the pupa/cocoon stage.

Caterpillars stay inside their cocoons to complete a total metamorphosis into butterflies. They lose their chubby, worm-like bodies and self-defense features and become tiny, delicate, winged creatures. Butterflies are as much adored by farmers as bees are for their important role in growing crops. That is because butterflies help pollinate crops their caterpillar selves once ate.

So when you consider “What do butterflies eat?” versus “What do caterpillars eat?”, it’s clear that the metamorphosis these creatures make also alters and impacts their diet. Instead of consuming plants, they end up drinking nectar and helping plants grow. It’s really quite an amazing circle of life for such a tiny insect.

What Do Butterflies Eat When They Are Raised as Part of a Butterfly Garden/Exhibit?

Several museums and public arboretums have chosen to keep and raise butterflies in an enclosure. These exhibits are really popular with children who can see butterflies and caterpillars up close.

Many of these butterflies are gently handled often so that people visiting arboretums, museums, and botanical gardens can actually hold butterflies and have butterflies land on them!

If you have never seen one of these exhibits, it’s a real treat. It might also spark the question about what the caretakers of these butterflies feed the little winged insects.

Usually, there’s a little water fountain or a misting appliance in the enclosure to provide water for the butterflies. Then little trays of brightly colored gravel with lots of honey water over the top are placed out for the butterflies to sip from. Many of these exhibits also include dozens of live flowers and flowering plants.

What Attracts Butterflies Into Your Yard?

where do butterflies sleep

Think bright colors. Think lovely perfumed breezes wafting through your open windows. If it’s beautiful, colorful, and smells divine to you, it’s exactly what will bring the butterflies to your yard.

It’s a lot of work tending that many flowers and flowering plants, but it’s worth it to see so many butterflies and colorful moths flutter around and pollinate your yard.

If you consult with a landscaper or a horticulturist, they will tell you exactly how to plant a garden that not only draws butterflies, but encourages them to mate and lay eggs for you. Then you will be able to watch the life cycle of these amazing little creatures for as long as your garden grows and blooms.

Fluttering Up

why are butterflies called butterflies

Lastly, you should know it isn’t difficult to feed butterflies. It isn’t difficult to draw them to you. Butterflies are drawn by what they see and smell, so you could be wearing bright colors and smell like a naturally sweet perfume and they would land on you. Just be aware that if they do land on you, they are smelling and tasting you with their feet before deciding to take off for better-tasting flowers.

More Animal Posts

How Long Do Goats Live? 2 Guaranteed Factors

If you are considering keeping goats, you might be wondering ‘How Long Do Goats Live’? It’s a valid question, especially if you love goats and are thinking of starting and or raising your own herd. And secondly, if you hope to ensure the longevity and well-being of your ‘kids’, we’ll give you some pointers.

The question about goat lifespan is actually a complicated one, as not all goat breeds live the same length of time. Before you get started on raising a goat herd, you should know the tendencies and characteristics of the different breeds of goats. Regardless of which breed you are considering, there are two critical factors:


The Never Easy to Answer but Always Asked Question of Goat Longevity

When asking or researching “how long do goats live?”, you will find some very common answers. In general, a goat might live anywhere from eight to eighteen years, although proper care will go a long way to increase lifespan. We’ll elaborate more on exactly what proper care entails.

Depending on the breed you choose to raise, giving your goats the premium care they deserve, your own human children may still be raising goats you purchased when they were born.

Breeds of Goats

While breeds of goats aren’t as varied as say cat or dog breeds, there are still enough goat breeds to choose from. These goat breeds are some of the most commonly raised goats in the United States, although they can be raised anywhere in the world.

  • Nubian goats
  • Anglo-Nubian goats
  • Alpine goats
  • Oberhasli goats
  • American Lamancha goats
  • Nigerian Dwarf goats
  • Pygmy goats
  • Saanen goats

The health of your goats and the climate in which they best thrive are key to the goat lifespan.

How Long Do Pygmy Goats Live?

how long do pygmy goats live

Pygmy goats are the smallest goats of all goat breeds. Despite their tiny size, they live a very long life for a goat. If they are properly penned and cared for, they may even outlive their expected ten to fifteen years. That is the short answer to “How long do pygmy goats live?”.

It is important to provide your pygmies with plenty of good, clean water and lots of all-natural, chemical-free goat feed.

They will nibble on just about anything, so keep their pens free of wood, toxic weeds, and rocks. All of these things (and more) can cause problems and health issues in your pygmy goat. Practice prevention from the beginning!

Tips On Feeding By Weight

Feed by weight. It’s easy to feed by the instructions on a bag of feed. However, it takes a bit more observation on your part to feed by observation. Is your kid or goat a little slim? Feed extra. Looking a little pudgy around the middle. Cut the feed by just a bit and then observe over the next few weeks. Adjust as per necessary.

You definitely don’t want to overfeed as that causes its own problems. The best way to feed is to go by your goat ~ don’t make your goat go by the bag! Your powers of observation are the best guide to go by. Just as humans, goats’ needs and physiology change, and what was the perfect amount to feed in the summer isn’t quite enough in the winter. Don’t be afraid to divert from the standard size serving. Every goat is unique in its own way.

Goats get more nutrition from grazing during warmer months and from hay in the colder months. Grazing is a priority for the health of a goat. In comparison, it would be the difference between eating a freshly prepared homemade meal to consuming a meal from the frozen dinner section of your supermarket.

Which would you prefer?

How Long Do Nigerian Dwarf Goats Live?

Nigerian Dwarf goats are small goats too, except that they are larger than their pygmy goat cousins. They tend to have broader faces and are slightly more rotund through the belly. Nigerian dwarf goats also live longer than pygmies, averaging about fifteen years of goat lifespan to the pygmy goat lifespan of twelve years.

If you like little goats and you love the idea of spending many happy and fun years raising your goats as pets, then the Nigerian Dwarf is probably the right option for you.

How Long Do Boer Goats Live?

If you want to know how long Boer goats live, the answer is a mixed bag. The bucks, or male goats, tend to live almost a decade shorter than the female goats (or does). Bucks live between eight to twelve years, while does live between twelve to twenty years.

That is good news if you want to raise goats for wool, meat, milk, and cheese. The females will provide you with years of goat-related products.

Boer goats are a favorite of goat farmers here in the U.S. because Boer goats love to chomp down on weeds. They will clear your pastures of noxious plants lickety-split, a major plus to owning goats of this type.

Boer Goats Are Easy Feeders

It also means that in warmer months you never have to worry about what to feed them or how much to feed them. They have iron-clad stomachs built for weed destruction.

Probably your biggest issue with Boer goats is that the does will be very difficult to round up to milk. They are quick, spritely, and able to get away from you in an open pasture.

If you have a few does that you want specifically for goat milk and cheese, rather than keep them in a smaller paddock and/or on a tethered line, make friends with them and develop a long-term forever relationship. Help them to see you as a welcome companion as opposed to always chasing them down.

If you want to use them for weeding, put your milking goats on walking lines and walk them around patches of weeds, hang out, spend some time together.

Keeping Nearly Wild Goats

goat lifespan

Domestic goats are of course the result of rounding up wild goats centuries ago and domesticating them. Could you do the same if you have wild goats living near you? Sure, you could, but wild goats cannot be fully tamed. If they escape your barnyard, you will be hard-pressed to get them back.

Then there’s the question of how long do goats live in captivity. If you’re talking about real goats taken from the wild in an attempt to domesticate them, probably not very long. Most wild goats have much shorter lifespans than their domesticated cousins. Part of that has to do with predators in the wild, and part of it has to do with the rough and tumble lives wild goats live.

Wild goats that are born wild usually live about ten years or less. Many do not live more than six years because of parasites, predators, and harsh living conditions.

On the flip side, if you are talking about domesticated goats that you have not tended often enough to keep them from going feral, that’s a different story. These domestic-turned-feral-turned-domestic-again goats can still lead very long lives if they are fed healthy feed, preferably organic, have access to non-chemical water, and generally have a quality pasture environment.

As a responsible goat owner, you should never let your goats roam due to the reality of predators usually living on the periphery.

How Long Do Goats Live IF You Care for Them Well?

how long do goats live in captivity

Most goats will meet or exceed their life expectancy for their breed if they are cared for well. This includes good management practices, proper feeding, responsible breeding, providing mineral supplements, preventing diseases like goat polio, and keeping a clean pen or paddock.

What Is Goat Polio?

Unlike human polio, goat polio is not a viral infection. Instead, it’s a lack of selenium or nutrients the goat needs to maintain its gut health. It will move in circles, fall over, bleat, not eat much or not eat anything at all, and if left untreated it will die. It’s a pretty serious condition, but it’s not entirely irreversible.

If caught early, there is a good chance of survival. Here again, keeping your goat’s immune system strong with bioavailable minerals and vitamins is what you want to do from the start. Prevention, prevention, prevention!!!

Keeping A Clean Paddock And Pastures

Whether your goat’s house is a paddock, pasture, or a barn and really all 3 are ideal, keeping the structures clean and maintained is just as important an aspect as any other good management practice.

Keeping a goat’s pen clean is an essential task on the homestead since goats can quickly develop worms or parasites, especially during warm or wet weather. At the same time, goats are pretty messy livestock, so keeping their pen clean will be challenging. However, there are some easy ways to keep the pen sanitary and the goats healthy. Here’s are some methods I found that work.

One of the several important ways to keep your goat’s immune system strong and avoid worms and parasites is to keep CLEAN living quarters. This can’t be stressed enough and is on top of the essential task list. Worms and parasites are especially prolific in the spring and summer, the warmer weather.

Most importantly, it is imperative to keep their area tidy on a very consistent basis. Goats and for that matter all livestock can be a bit messy but there are fairly easy-to-do-routines that will provide for sanitary living quarters and healthy goats.

  • #1 Change bedding regularly and as needed
  • #2 Keep the area dry – this prevents bacteria, mold, and mildew
  • #3 Use Lime Powder to disinfect the floor
  • #4 Deep Litter Method

Other Factors That Affect Goat Longevity

When asking “How long do goats live?”, the different factors at play can push the life cycle of goats behind or into the future. If you have more than one male, they will fight for dominance and headbutt to the death if you let them. If you allow the goats to keep their horns, the bucks will use them to wound and kill. Does will sometimes injure other animals in the herd too.

Your best bet then is to have only one adult male goat for breeding purposes. Unless it’s breeding season, keep him out of the same pen or paddock as the does. Shear horns off right at the head so none of the herd can be injured by another member.

Having “Kids”

Does can and often do give birth to twins, triplets, and even quadruplets. The more kids they carry, the greater the risk for their health. They should remain under a watchful eye. If it looks like they are trying to give birth, put them in the barn and stay with them, be prepared to help if your help is needed.

If you don’t mind doing so, reach inside the doe and help her deliver the kids to ease her pain from pushing. Be careful not to tear the vagina or uterus if you want the doe to live a long life.

Kids are more likely to die from accidentally being stepped on by a larger animal. Keep the mom and her kids in a barn stall until they are bigger and can run and romp as kids do. It will help prevent injuries from adult goats or bigger farm animals sharing the paddock or pen.

In Short…

Goats can be fun to raise. They provide you with a lot of goat products too. However, they are at least an eight-year commitment. If you don’t think you can spend the next eight-plus years raising goats, you might want to consider another sort of animal or pet to raise.

Different breeds of goats have different lifespans and can be affected by innumerable factors. Taking excellent care of these animals can prolong their lives and even increase life expectancy. Here is a list to summarize the most important factors:

  • Climate ~ Breed Specific
  • Non-Chemical, Organic, Soy-Free Feed
  • Clean Drinking Water Source (not tap)
  • Support A Strong Immune System: Minerals, Vitamins, Colostrum
  • Prevent Worms and Diseases By Implementing All The Above

Recap + Links

Organic Goat Feed
Colostrum For Newborn Goat Kids
Complete Goat Hoof Trimmer Set
Growth Support Trace Mineral Blend
Goat Sign For Goat LOVERS
Tough 1 Slow Feed Hay Bag
BEGINNERS Guide To Raising Goats

Other Livestock Posts:

Can Rabbits Eat Bok Choy? A Bunny’s Best Friend


Can Rabbits Eat Bok Choy? A Bunny’s Best Friend

Bok choy is something you don’t hear a lot about unless you happen to eat a lot of Asian dishes. Commonly used as vegetable filler in Asian dishes for humans it may not have occurred to you to use it as food for your rabbit. You might even be wondering, “Can rabbits eat bok choy?” The simple answer is yes they can, but the more complex answer requires a bit of explanation.

What Is Bok Choy?

Bok choy is Chinese cabbage. Unlike the cabbages you typically see in the grocery store or garden, these cabbages are native to Asia and look more like celery than cabbage. The bulbous ends look like celery stalks, but then the stalks taper off to broad, medium-green leaves. It tastes like a cross between celery and cabbage too, which is why it is an excellent vegetable for cooking.

Can Bunnies Eat Bok Choy?

can bunnies eat bok choy

They sure can! It is perfectly safe for them to consume in smaller amounts. You can feed it to them once or twice a week in bunny-size portions. It is smarter to slice it up into thin strips to allow your rabbit friend to eat it with ease.

Bunnies usually enjoy the bok choy because it is green and leafy. Rabbits love green and leafy vegetables. Most of their diet consists of green veggies, with the exception of carrots. Regardless of which vegetable you feed your bunny, chop it in small amounts to keep the veggies fresh.

There are lots of good vitamins in bok choy that can boost your bunny’s immune system. This is an all-natural approach to keeping your bunny healthy. Because bok choy is unusually high in calcium you should not be feeding your rabbit a lot of this vegetable or feeding it as often as pelleted feed. Bok choy is a great supplement to a healthy bunny diet.

Nutritional Value of Bok Choy for Bunnies

Vitamins B6, C, E, beta carotene (often found in carrots too!), folate, selenium, and quercetin (a flavonoid) are all found in bok choy. Most of these vitamins and minerals help reduce inflammation. This is good news for some bunny breeds.

Additionally, because the source of these vitamins and minerals comes in the form of an easily digested food your bunny will likely gobble up.

A fully balanced diet for bunnies that includes a little bok choy ensures that you are taking a very holistic and preventive health approach to caring for your fast-hopping friend.

The Ideal Rabbit Diet

While you are searching for answers on “Can rabbits eat bok choy?” be aware of the fact that rabbits, like humans, need a balanced diet. Feeding any bunny too much of something is never good. A balanced diet for rabbits includes a small serving of organic nutrition pellets made for rabbits only, a little fruit for sweetness or a treat, alfalfa or sweetgrass for roughage, and a small serving of veggies daily.

If your rabbit doesn’t or won’t eat something, in particular, change it. Maybe he or she doesn’t like apple slices but adores raspberries. Maybe the alfalfa isn’t tasty, and he or she would rather have fresh herbs instead (no parsley!). The point is that they have certain tastes too. So, don’t be alarmed if they choose to eat or not to eat. That is truly their question.

Quality Organic Pellets

In addition to Hay you can feed quality, healthful pellets, so if your bunny doesn’t eat enough, remove the tastier “treats” from the cage until you can get your furry friend to eat some hay. Also, too many tasty treats can be hard on their teeth.

Check labels carefully to see where the pellets are coming from i.e. from USA or China. You want as local as possible, Organic, not ridiculously processed, and stuffed with fillers. Buy Organic Adult Rabbit Food from the USA and a quality brand. Here is an example of a brand that is USDA Certified Organic without sugar and artificial ingredients.

You should also be aware that even though rabbits chew hundreds of times in a minute, they don’t exactly do a thorough job. If you dissected rabbit poop you would notice some bits of undigested food. This is typical because rabbits have learned from evolution to eat on the run and worry about digestion later.

It also means that they will eat their own feces later to further digest what they missed.

If you are feeding your bunny really healthy things, eating their own poop is fine. Just watch for changes in their poop. Changes can signal that something doesn’t agree with their stomachs, or that something was wrong with the food. Go back to just hay and water for a few days to make sure the rabbit’s tummy and digestion return to normal.

Can Rabbits Eat Bok Choy Every Day?

can rabbits eat bok choy every day

Yes and no. No, they should not eat a lot of it every day because the calcium can build up in their systems and create health problems. Yes, they can eat a VERY small amount as a treat every day.

IF you want to serve bok choy as a main meal to your bunny (i.e., as the only food and in a larger quantity), consider slicing and chopping it into thin strips or bite-size pieces and only serve it once or twice a week.

It’s a complicated answer, but with anything good in life moderation is key. This is as true for pet rabbits as it is for humans. If you are not sure how much is too much bok choy, ask your friendly neighborhood holistic health experts.

What Part of Bok Choy Can Rabbits Eat?

The answer is: ALL of it. with the exception of the root cut at the bottom of the vegetable, you can feed your bunny the stalks, leaves, and parts of the heart. Just make sure you cut it into thin, short strips your bunny can nibble, or into tiny chopped pieces that are more easily chewed by a bunny.

Tear the leaves into small pieces too. That way bunnies won’t try to eat too much of it all at once and choke on pieces that are too much or too large.

What Vegetables Can Rabbits Eat?

More to the point, you might be wondering what other vegetables a rabbit can eat. They can actually eat a surprising number of veggies, and all of them are very good for your little furry friend.

Carrots, for example, provide antioxidants and Vitamin A that help ward off the development of certain ailments in bunnies and keep their vision sharp. Unless you have a very large rabbit, carrots should also be chopped or sliced into strips because they are such a hard veggie to bite and chew.

Some rabbit specialists suggest that just the carrot tops with the leafy carrot greenery is enough for most rabbits.

A very long list of veggies and even fruits are ideal for rabbits because of the many health benefits the fruits and veggies provide. It might surprise you to learn that some leafy greens can be toxic to bunnies and that you should avoid these particular greens. These greens include:

  • spinach
  • parsley
  • mustard greens

However, most other veggies and fruits are safe. Essentially if a rabbit would eat or nibble it in the wild or chomp on it in your garden or orchard, it’s usually safe.

Can Rabbits Eat Collard Greens?

can rabbits eat collard greens

It’s a very Southern thing to say “collard” greens since the phrase comes from “collared” greens. Collared greens are so named because they have leaves that make them look like they are wearing shirt collars. The leaves grow together in bunches, but do not have “hearts” as some other root veggies might.

Collard (or collared) greens include:

  • lettuce
  • Swiss chard
  • spinach
  • turnips
  • mustard greens
  • cabbage

As previously mentioned, rabbits should not eat mustard greens, spinach, or parsley. However, the rest of the vegetables in the collard greens category are fair game.

Can Rabbits Eat Bok Choy Mixed With Other Fruits and Veggies?

The question, “Can rabbits eat bok choy mixed with other fruits and veggies?” is an excellent question. Sometimes certain fruits and veggies should not be eaten together because they don’t digest well and could cause bloat or toxic situations. However, you can still serve bok choy “recipes” for your bunny.

One such recipe includes cutting tops off of carrots and turnips, chopping up a little bok choy, and including a bit of apple for a complete meal. More exotic and tropical fruits are a real treat because most bunnies would not ordinarily encounter mango or papaya in the wild.

You can experiment with cherries and plums sans pits, uncooked berries of most kinds, currants, tree fruits, bananas, etc… Mix them in with veggies and see which ones your rabbit likes best.

Good Health Tips for Your Rabbit Beyond Bok Choy

Eating bok choy for its health benefits is just the tip of the iceberg for your rabbit. Go beyond the answers for “Can rabbits eat bok choy?” by researching many holistic and common-sense approaches to caring for pet rabbits.


do rabbits drink water

Always have a clean source of water for your rabbit. It should not come from the tap as tap water is laced with high amounts of alum, copper, chlorine, and other chemical residues that are the result of filtering out human waste. If you wouldn’t have your rabbit drink ammonia and chlorine straight, don’t give it to him/her diluted from the tap!

If you are on the tap consider a reverse osmosis system that will remove all or most of the contaminants and re-mineralize the water. Much healthier for you and your rabbit.

Use bottled spring water instead. You can buy spring water sold in jugs without fluoride (another additive in tap water that isn’t good for bunnies or for us. Rabbit Waterers here.

Clean Cage

A clean cage is also important. Bunnies poop A LOT. They are one of the very few animals in the world that can defecate while they are on the move. If you have ever seen wild rabbits on the run, you can spot them defecating as they go. Your pet rabbit is no exception.

The problem is, all that poop can cause a lot of skin and fur problems. Rabbits are very clean animals, despite eating their own poop. They spend an enormous amount of time grooming themselves and each other if they live in a warren or share a cage.

Removing the soiled bedding helps your rabbit by decreasing the amount of grooming time and encouraging healthier eating habits (i.e, less poop, more real food).

Poop is also the source of bacteria that can carry diseases and make rabbits sick. Clean the cage at least every other day to maintain the overall health of your bunny. If you keep your rabbit outside, the cage needs cleaning daily to avoid infestation of flies, maggots, and/or worms in your rabbits. See here for rabbit hutches.

All Natural and Organic Food

Even bunny foods from the pet store can contain preservatives and stabilizers that are not good for rabbits. Purchasing organic and all-natural bunny pellets will help you and your bunny avoid these unnecessary ingredients.

Likewise, if you can serve your pet fruits and veggies, make sure they are organic. It is the best choice for you and your bunny.

Other Thoughts: Can Rabbits Eat Bok Choy in Other Forms?

Can rabbits eat bok choy in other forms? For example, can rabbits eat bok choy as a puree or as a mash? It is possible, although most younger rabbits need the hard crunch of fruits and veggies to curb their ever-growing teeth.

Save the puree or mashed versions of veggies for much older rabbits that can’t chew as well or that have lost teeth to decay.

Can rabbits eat bok choy cooked? Yes, they can, but most rabbits aren’t likely to eat something that’s hot. They are used to cool or cold raw veggies. Cooked bok choy may be left to sit while your bunny eats something else.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment to see what and how your rabbit may eat bok choy. Remember that rabbits have personal tastes just like us and if they decide not to eat something put before them that is perfectly okay. Make a mental note and offer your rabbit some other delectable that they will enjoy.

Recap + Links + Assessories

64oz Rabbit Water Bottles
UpGraded Rabbit Hutch
Organic Rabbit Food (Soy Free, Sugar-Free, Artificial Ingredient Free)
Rabbit Harness and Leash For Walks
Snuggly Rabbit Fleece Sleep Pad
Rabbit Food Dispenser
Sungrow Grass Mat
Hanging Water Fountain Dispenser
Interactive Snuffle Logic Game for Mental Enrichment

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Palomino Horse: How To Identify A True Palomino

There are so many beautiful horses in the world, but very few can conjure up incredible equine fantasies quite like the golden Palomino horse. If you are old enough to remember Roy Rogers’ horse Trigger, or Mr. Ed (another famous palomino horse), or the golden beauty that was Xena, Warrior Princess’s beautiful horse, then you know exactly what these horses look like. What you may not know is the remarkable way in which these horses come about, and how hard it is to “strike palomino gold.”

Not A Breed, But A Color

golden palomino horse

These horses are not a color breed at all. In fact, more than half of all golden-colored horses are quarter horses first, palomino coloring second. Even so, you still may not have a true palomino horse! Confused yet? Most people who don’t know a lot about horses usually are.

In short, the golden coat color and white main and tail of these horses is a mutation throwing the cream gene or cream dilution gene. It is a very specific mutation, one which we’ll explain in a bit. Their color is not a breed; just a color, and it takes incredible patience and expertise to breed a golden horse into being.

The Color Mutation and How Difficult It Is to Achieve It

palomino horse

So, the white to cream-colored mane and tail and golden coat color of these horses is only achieved when two horses containing the mutated allele dominate the horse’s genetic makeup, hence the cream dilution gene. This sounds all highly scientific, and it is.

An allele in layman’s terms is a genetic mutation of a gene on a chromosome that is consistently located in the exact same place on said chromosome. It is usually one of two or more mutations on the same gene, too.

If you were attempting to breed this specific mutation into the coat colors of an entire herd, you would need an equestrian geneticist on staff to get exactly the right mutations on specific chromosomes over and over again.

Even then, you could breed two horses with the similar alleles for golden coats and cream-white manes and tails and still not get a palomino foal with golden color and palomino coat! That’s because it goes back to dominant genes and horse colors.

Palomino horse breeders could spend an entire life as a breeder of the Tennessee Walking Horse, Quarter horse, and other horses where this mutation exists and maybe only achieve a small percentage of horses in your herd with the iconic golden coloring.

Conversely, if you have an equine breed that has the mutation in its body, but is definitely not golden-colored, it could still produce golden offspring.

Without delving too much further into genetics, you should know that the allele mutations for golden coats and white mane, flaxen mane to cream manes, and tails would have to match and dominate with relative frequency to manage to breed these horses consistently.

It’s not impossible to do, but so incredibly difficult to achieve that only an equestrian geneticist would have any chance of coming close.

So, What Is a Palomino Horse?

beautiful palomino horse

What is a palomino horse, then, besides mutations on genes for coat and hair coloring? As previously mentioned, many of these palomino color horses are members of the quarter horse breed. In fact, it is estimated that more than half of all quarterhorses could be considered palominos.

Additionally, any other horse breed that owes its ancestry to quarterhorses is subject to this color mutation, like the Tennessee Walking horse. Other horses, like the Thoroughbred, might be crossed with a quarterhorse and end up with the golden mutation.

Breed aside, these horses have quite the array of palomino coloring. They can be pale cream, almost white to dark liver bay, or so long as the white or cream mane or flaxen mane and tail exist. Many of them also have white markings on the face and socks or stockings of white on their legs.

The most prized of these horses are the light to deep golden, almost chestnut coat color with pure white manes and tails. A true palomino horse also fades to a bland, uninteresting color in winter and then renews its vibrant coat again after spring shedding begins.

Looks Like One, But Is It?

palomino horse color

There are plenty of horses out there that are naturally colored like palominos. However, if a geneticist examined the genes of these horses and did not find the mutated “cream dilution” alleles, they are not true palomino horses. It has to be a true color mutation to be referred to as one of the golden horses.

If you are a horse owner buy a horse because someone told you it was a much-desired golden horse, you should have it tested. There are horse genetics experts that can do this for you. It may cost you some money, but it’s worth it to find out if you really have a horse with this color mutation.

It is also worth knowing if you intend to breed this horse and you are attempting to get one or more palomino foal with the golden coloring.

Keep in mind not all horse colors in this range are golden either. Some are more reddish-gold with chestnut horse hues. Some are more bay-colored, and a few are so dark or dun that no one would dare refer to them as the color mutated-palominos.

Yet, if they have the mutated genes, they are (and can be) referred to as palominos.

What Is A Cremello In Relation To The Palomino?

cremello horse

In an attempt to breed a golden horse line before they were able to understand that these horses are not a breed but a mutation, another color mutation resulted. If you have two palominos with dominant mutated diluted cream genes and you breed them together to get a golden foal, there is a very high chance you will get a cremello instead. A cremello is essentially the albino of palomino horses.

You know you have a cremello horse when the horse’s deep pink skin shows through its almost white coat and its very pale blue eyes take the place of the darker eyes common in its golden cousins.

This mutation is related to, but is not exactly the same, like that for palominos and is a result of attempting to breed gold-colored horses as a breed. If you attempt to breed a cremello mutation with another horse, the offspring may have multiple health problems.

Association With Royalty

Not surprisingly, these golden horses were once prized by royalty. Imagine having a carriage drawn by four, eight, or twelve matching golden-colored horses! It would be quite the sight, wouldn’t it? That’s exactly what Kings and Queens were thinking when they would have several of these horses in their stables.

The trouble was, they didn’t know or realize back then that you couldn’t just breed an entire herd of gold-colored horses because they weren’t a breed but a color mutation.

Eventually, the idea of a golden equine carriage team fell by the wayside when other horse breeds became much more interesting and popular among royalty. It was then that these horses began a different path towards North America.

Here they were bred to wild and nearly a wild horse that would be ridden by Native Americans for hunting, raiding, etc.. Yet, most people still think of them as a rare and beautiful sort of equine that is nearly impossible to achieve through breeding practices (and they’re mostly right).

Considering Your Own Golden Palomino?

It is almost impossible to resist the idea of owning your own palomino-gold horse. Yet, it is equally as simple to be fooled by the “fool’s gold” version of these horses too. If your primary goal and focus in life is to have a true golden-palomino mount, you will need to have the genes of the horse for sale tested by an independent equine gene company. Only such a test can attest to finding real gold in a horse’s genetic makeup.

Naming Your Golden Horse

As far as horse names are concerned, being a horse lover, you could name your horse just about anything. It doesn’t have to be related to its coat color, although most people will use such a horse name anyway. Here is an example list of names a lot of people typically name their gold-colored horses:

  • Goldie
  • Golden Boy
  • Prince or Princess
  • Starshine or Starlight
  • Sunshine or Soleil (the French word for sun)
  • Nugget
  • Pyrite
  • Au (the abbreviation for gold on the chemistry table of elements)
  • Precious

However, if your horse is a purebred of any breed, and it has registration papers, there is a good chance you don’t have to name it anything. Its dam and sire have both contributed to its name. That name cannot be legally superseded because of the horse’s lineage. If you just want to use a “gold” nickname when spending time with your horse you can.

Identifying Health Risks

There are no mutated-color gene-specific risks beyond those associated with creating cremellos. If you have a cremello, it might be blind, deaf, or have some other hereditary gene-specific issue. Inbreeding in an attempt to get more golden horses also produces massive congenital health issues, but if you are not intending on attempting to breed horses to get this type of color, it’s not an issue.

On the flip side, these horses can experience many of the health issues related to a specific breed. Since quarterhorses make up half of all palominos, the health risks associated with quarterhorses should be considered before purchasing an equine pet.

If you have a vet do a thorough health check on a horse prior to purchase, that makes a huge difference in the health of the animal from the start.

Find out what breed or breeds a horse is before you jump at the chance of owning a shiny gold horse. Then you will know exactly what you are getting into before you buy it. Most of the general health issues horses have can easily be treated through proper diet and exercise, regardless of the breed of the horse or the color of its coat.

Be prepared for expenses related to horse ownership and you should be fine.


Is a palomino a breed of horse? No, it has to do with having a particular gene. The Quarter horse and the Tennessee Walking horse are commonly Palomino.

How tall are palomino horses? There is no specific height of the palomino since they can come from multiple different types of horse breeds.

Do you know the difference between a palomino horse and a cremello? A cremello is essentially the albino of palomino horses. This results from breeding two palominos with the dominant mutated diluted cream genes and this increases the risk of health issues.

What are the differences between buckskin and palomino? The primary difference is the buckskin will have black lower legs, tail, and mane. Where the palomino will not have the black points.

Where did palominos come from? The palomino received its name from Royalty in Spain; Palomina. They came to America in 1519, brought by Cortes.

Does a palomino have a good temperament? The palomino has as good a temperament as the breed it comes from. Most are Tennessee Walkers or Quarter horses and these horses have good temperament in general. Each horse is unique in its own right and should be considered as so.

How Long Do Horses Live In A Domestic Environment?

How long do horses live? This is a great question. I think it depends on what angle we decide to take to decipher the answer. If we look at history we’ll find many accounts of an older horse living anywhere of up to almost 60 years of age.

If we look at genetics and predisposition we might find some breeds tend to live longer than others. Or we might find that a horse’s lifespan is contingent on the health of the broodmare at the time the foal was born. But none of this really tells us what may or may not be the more practical contributing factors.

More than this, I think the greater question is . . . how long can my horse live? There are a great many aspects that can influence the lifespan of a horse That’s what this post is all about. What can we do to create longevity? Most importantly, wouldn’t you agree, that the most relevant question is “How can I create the best quality of life for my beloved equine companion”?

Regardless of the duration of time that any life is lived, It is the Quality of that Life that counts

You could think of this in terms of your personal human relationships. Is it really the number of relationships you have or how long you’ve had them? Or is it the quality of connection, fulfillment, and most simply put, the Joy within these relationships?

In truth, it’s never up to us to determine the life span of anything, for that is determined by the Spirit. But it is up to us to shape and frame the best quality of life for everyone around us, mankind, and the animal kingdom.

What Factors Into How Long Do Horses Live?

There are some common denominators contributing to a horse’s health and the quality of a horse’s life regardless of horse breed, young horse, older horse, domestic horse, wild horse, male horse, a miniature horse, draft horse, quarter horse, pony, larger horses, smaller breeds, a feral horse or geriatric horses. The factors below are listed in the importance of priority.

Companionship ~ Largely Influences The Lifespan Of A Horse

Everyone knows horses are herd animals. But what exactly does that mean to you as a horse owner. It means your horse needs a buddy or several. Some horses can get away with no pasture mate but they’ll rely on you to have companionship with, and in reality, most people can’t spend the amount of time with their horse required to meet your horse’s inherent need.

Truly, the best idea is to have another buddy and it doesn’t always have to be another horse. It could possibly be a goat or a pony. The best alternative will be the choice your horse makes, who he or she picks.

Here’s another way to consider your horse’s feelings and well-being; have play days where they can possibly spend some time with a potential pasture/barn mate and see how it goes. See if they are receptive or not. Have patience and consideration for equine your friends, after all, they are sentient beings.

Training Expectations

There is no other way around how to say this, except to say it . . . and that is . . . . that people expect WAY too much from their horses almost all of the time. Understand that what we are sharing here is based on the practical experience of working with many horses over a significant period of time in both of our professions.

The best test is always that of how you are with your own animals, so we expound from our Master teachers, our own animals. Chief, Apollo, and Savannah share their knowledge and insight here with us.

They’ve actually started their own trilogy the first one being titled: How to Live with a Horse. Here is an excerpt straight from the horses mouth:

“Our vision is quite different from human vision. Because of how our eyes are set we see things differently than you, we have a two-dimensional approach from the side and hopefully a three-dimensional approach looking forward.

What we are hoping for, is that before we begin working together, you understand how we see the world. For instance, we are mostly nearsighted on the left side because humans always walk up to us on the left and ask things of us from the left side.

This means we are generally far-sighted on the right. So when asking us to move to the left we may understand you all day long. But when asking us to move to the right we don’t ‘see’ the same way because of the far-sightedness on that side. We are asking that you don’t approach us with an agenda till you understand how we can receive the request, before scolding us.”

Thank you , Chief, Apollo and Savannah

Understanding Us Is Everything

You might wonder how this could possibly relate to ‘how long do horses live’? Not being understood on a constant and chronic basis leads to internal stress that eventually manifests externally in our health and well-being.


Just like us humans, quality nutrition for a horse means everything. I see it as the foundation of a horse’s health. Giving them proper nutrition is like fuel for the immune system. When the immune system is online and functioning, I always say it’s like a long-term insurance policy. A horse will feel better, function better, perform better, act better, think better and behave better. See our post, Healthy As A Horse, Not Just A Saying. I’ll share with you exactly what we give our horses for optimal nutrition. And the protocol we’ve suggested for many of our horse clients.

  1. Quality grass hay- horses are designed to eat grass. Not alfalfa. Cows eat alfalfa. Alfalfa causes horses to run hot and thus creates inflammation.
  2. Bioavailable MineralsHumic and Fulvic Acid in this concentrates make a full gallon. 2-3 oz per day
  3. Coconut Meal ~ Coolstance
  4. Beet Pulp
  5. Herbal Mixes of various herbs such as Ashwagandha, Slippery Elm, Marshmellow Root, Passion Flower, Dandelion, and Milk Thistle. You could use many variations of herbal mixes depending on the specific needs of your horse such as supporting the adrenals, gut, and liver.
  6. Non-municipal Water! – this is a biggy. Most people don’t drink tap water and why would you give it to your horse. I know this is a tough one for many people that don’t have a well or filtered water system. But municipal water is loaded with chemicals, toxins, parasites, and heavy metals. This can be the cause of a host of health conditions and challenges.



Slippery Elm
Marshmellow Root
Passion Flower
Milk Thistle

Horses’ Hooves

Trimming and shoeing for whole-body balancing are where it’s at! This is rare and means what it says ~ evaluating the whole body for the proper angles of the trim to influence the entire body. This in turn allows the horse not only to be in alignment but it relaxes the entire nervous system.

A proper trim not only affects the musculoskeletal structure of the horse but when alignment is correct the immune system and endocrine system work as a whole. We’ll call this full-body integration. In summary, the trim itself can align a horse beautifully or misalign a horse terribly.

The Proper Trim Influences a Horse at every Level

Horse’s Teeth

horse teeth

Another imperative need of a horse is a horse’s teeth and in particular, a senior horse needs to have its teeth to masticate properly. This is the first step in breaking down the food so it CAN be digested. Teeth with hooks or points don’t allow for mastication to take place.

Then guess what? Digestion is impaired. Following is the inability to absorb nutrients. You get the point from there ~ It trickles down the line like a domino effect. ThHn we have impaired health and well-being.

Environment Impacts How Long Horses Live

Horses need flat ground to roam around on freely. Horses that are stalled need time in the day to be turned out to an open area or pasture. They are so large that to be stalled would be like one of us humans standing in one spot all day long.

The most ideal situation is for a horse to be able to forage the herbs it intuitively knows it needs. Horses have been doing this since the beginning of time. Important to know is that Yellow Star Thistle is toxic for horses. Make sure your pasture is clear of this thistle and if you do find it, by all means, do not use Round-Up. Round-Up or Glyphosate is even more toxic.

BodyWork/Holistic Modalities

And speaking of sentient beings above, since sentience means the ability to feel, perceive, and experience independently, your horse may exponentially benefit from Holistic forms of bodywork or modalities.

As horses age, just like we humans, we can use some help along the way if you know what I mean! Some of the main ones I’ve implored in working with horses has been Wholistic Touch, Bowen Therapy, Cold Laser Therapy, Crystals, essential oils, herbs, oil infusions, and of course Homeopathy. I can tell you from years of doing sessions with horses that they receive and respond beautifully to energetic methods.

In a Wholistic Touch session, you can’t help but see the head drop, the eyes soften, the musculature relax, jaw tension release, pronounced licking and chewing, and nostril expansion. In other words, a ton of bricks just came off their shoulders. They feel heard and understood maybe for the first time ever as they release emotional wounds.

You can directly influence a horse’s life by giving them holistic bodywork sessions. Some of which you can learn to do yourself, and talk about spending quality time with your horse!!! It doesn’t get any better than that. To share such a feeling of peace and relaxation together. Then when you are in the saddle, that sense of Oneness can be felt clear as day.

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Healthy As A Horse, It’s Not Just A Saying

Horses, to all outside appearances, generally look healthy, hence the saying, “Healthy As A Horse.” They are big strong creatures and would seem to be immune to complexities. A savvy horse owner knows just how important health is to a horse’s performance. But horses aren’t just their performance. They, like us, are susceptible to injuries, pain, toxicity, and dis-ease.

It can’t go without saying that horses (and all our animals) are also susceptible to our emotions and will mirror and reflect this aspect of ourselves. Horses are emotional beings and require being treated with tenderness and understanding.

This is certainly not to say that we should be herded around by our fellow equines. But more importantly though, that our relationship with our horses should be based on co-operation and collaboration. It’s a relationship . . . . right . . . . . .

A horse’s health is contingent upon proper nutrition within the diet, clean water, exercise, good hay, a favorable environment, and companionship. This last item, companionship is an extremely important factor in a horse’s emotional well-being.

Their counterpart, we humans, require close to the same needs to experience vibrant health and wellness. Except, of course, the hay, unless you’d like to try our amazing superfood ‘that tastes like hay’, so I’ve been told. It’s a good thing I like hay and earthy-tasting things!

On a physical level, in order to avoid health issues, this amounts to appropriate hoof health, including balanced whole body hoof trimming/shoeing, dental alignment, unique and individual saddle fit, and of course the optimal nutrition mentioned above. Every single one of these points listed above is imperative to have a healthy, happy, joyful, lively horse buddy.

Reading Your ‘Healthy As A Horse’, Horse

Buddies ~ Chief & Apollo

When it comes to natural horse health, equine professionals and horse owners alike need to be able to identify each horse’s care uniquely and individually. I’m going to share a personal example in a moment but first more on the practical principles of a horse’s life.

The Prey Nature of a Horse

The equine is a herd animal and is considered an animal of prey due to its herbivorous nature. A wild animal such as a coyote, pack of coyotes, or mountain lion can take down an adult horse in a flash. A horse showing any kind of weakness is a target.

They can also be ousted from the herd in order to preserve the whole of the herd. These are the laws of nature that sustain the species itself.

What does Preservation have to do with horse health? Everything . . . yes, everything. When your horse is ailing, whether from an injury, a negative health condition, or an emotional disharmony they aren’t necessarily completely transparent with us. Why not . . . . ? To show pain of any kind is weakness. This is not a priority in a horse’s life. They can suffer without us ever knowing until it becomes blatantly obvious. WE don’t want it to go that far.

Slow Down, Wait, and Listen

This is where we need to change. Not our horse. If we really care about our horse and want a relationship based on harmony, co-operation, and collaboration, we’ll develop the necessary skills and art of patience. We’ll also do well with every other aspect of our life as well if we let our equine partners teach us the Art.

For instance, when you go out to the pasture or barn, give yourself a few moments to breathe, center yourself, and just observe your horse. Feel the warmth of gratitude for your animals and just be with them. We don’t always need to ‘DO’ something with them, accomplish something, or achieve a goal.

Just being with them is a priceless gem. Give them the release from always having an expectation to be fulfilled. And it will do wonders for whatever discipline or riding style that you are currently entertaining.

What I Thought Wasn’t What I Thought

healthy as a horse
My Healthy As A Horse, Chief

Here is a first-class example of the practical principles of the concept of taking the time to read your horse and listen. We’re all learning how to be better in life ~ all the way around. This is an example of my Healthy As A Horse, Chief. Bear with me . . . . it leads up to the precise point of this post.

Shaun, my hubby noticed Chief being a little bit lethargic and despondent for a few weeks before we found the issue. Chief and his long-term, Mustang pasture buddy have recently been blessed with a new pasture mate. Beautiful Savannah is a bright, outgoing, cheerful, Tennessee Walking mare.

She brings light wherever she finds herself. As pasture dynamics work themselves out, as they always do, we assumed there was some processing going on regarding the recent changes.

Hubby commented to me “Chief needs some time with you, probably a bodywork session would be good”. Life keeps happening every day! I didn’t make it out for the bodywork session as soon as would have been ideal.

The horses are roaming on 4 acres so we don’t always see them up close and personal except of course at feeding time and at supplement bowl-thirty mash time.

Patience And Practice

We discovered Chief was developing an infection evidenced by some discharge coming out of his left nostril and eye. A distinctive odor was beginning to appear as well. My first thought was run for the homeopathics. Which one though? Homeopathic medicine is truly one of the greatest modalities known. It’s an art and a science and it takes a moment or two to decipher which remedy or remedies are fitting for a given situation.

Patience and practice are required. Hmmmm . . . there is that word again, patience. Seems to be a theme. Anyway, I made my decision which ended up being the Silicea homeopathic remedy. A good one for infections. There ended up being a better one though. So I followed my intuitive protocol using this remedy along with some extra support including a bodywork session.

He seemed to respond right away and perk up and did well for a few days but I wasn’t getting the progressive resolution I was looking for as the days went by. The rain and cold weather hit which is not amiable for this quarter horse.

The infection seemed to gain hold and the odor and discharge increased to the point where I felt like I didn’t want to mess around with this. I’m not a fan of antibiotics unless it’s a life-threatening situation. In my years of working with animals, I’ve seen way too many animals rally up and get so much better initially only to watch the immune system tank even further with more chronic health issues.

I Forgot To Take My Own Medicine

I will note here that Chief willingly took his homeopathic medicine each and every time I came out to give it. Now, I decided to up the ante and set the homeopathics to the side for the moment. I went for the bigger, potent biocide, MMS.

As I have used it successfully in the past when the need has called for it. This too is not my favorite go-to primarily because of its biocidal nature. Any biocide basically ‘kills’ and doesn’t necessarily work harmoniously with an organism as a whole. Overall, MMS, its mechanism by nature is gentler than orthodoxy antibiotics. (Only in my personal opinion and experience).

So here I go, pasture bound in the cold rain with my 60ml syringe ready to annihilate the intruder. Chief acquiesced to my sure-fire strategy. Only as the next few days progressed did Chief not acquiesce, but adamantly would not be caught without a fight. Which was not his normal temperament, or mine.

I blamed it on our fair-weather friend, the cold rain and wind. But Chief, still with all tenacity was trying to get me to slow down, wait and listen. Ashamed to say, I didn’t get it! I forgot to take my own medicine. The unfavorable dance went on for a few days. Even with my sure-fire approach, he wasn’t better!

Pasture Bound Again

I called my friend and homeopath, told her where I was with Chief, and asked for her expertise, she asked some specific questions and suggested the homeopathic remedy, Hepar Sulph 200C. Pasture bound again only this time with my 3cc syringe full of homeopathic vibrational medicine.

It wasn’t easy to get back on Chief’s good side again and convince him I was not going to give him the biocide again, which he adamantly tried to tell me in the beginning.

Getting the Right Homeopathic Remedy

I gave him his first few doses of the Hepar Sulph and literally almost overnight the horrible odor was reduced by half and the glint in his eye was coming back. It was truly amazing. This odor was so bad and was the main reason I panicked and ran for the MMS.

There it was seriously reduced almost immediately. And within a few days, he was better than he had been in weeks. Another dramatic testimony of using the appropriate homeopathic remedy.

After dosing with the Hepar Sulph 200c twice a day for just about 2 weeks the infection has just about completely disappeared. Chief’s mood is great. And his Life Force has been boosted. I would happily do this any day rather than give him medications that eradicate the offender immediately but ultimately weaken the immune system.

I just have to add here, as evidenced by my first-hand experience above, that sometimes it takes a few tries to ‘get’ the right remedy. But when you do, the healing is truly amazing. Coming from 20+ years of experience in the holistic field, if there is one modality I wish I would have cultivated more it’s the art of homeopathy. It’s never too late though, right?

I learn more and more about homeopathy all the time and the animals are my greatest teachers.

Holistic and Homeopathic Have Different Meanings

How important it is to differentiate the mechanism of herbs, supplements, and other holistic means from homeopathy. Many, many people use the term homeopathic and holistic interchangeably and they are NOT the same thing. In general, homeopathic remedies are diluted and succussed frequencies that are taken in the form of small white pellets or dissolved in water.

Homeopathy is a holistic method by nature. But something holistic, that being a supplement or modality is not necessarily homeopathic. Homeopathics are frequency or vibration. And that’s a topic well worth exploring more, that is, understanding frequency and vibration. Another post another day.

My Personal ‘Healthy As A Horse’ Lesson

After a few days of the new remedy, Chief, finally would come to me again without me having to go get him and coerce him into taking something he clearly was telling me was not the solution. He now willingly came to me happy to take his remedy unaltered, and uncoerced.

Why didn’t I Slow down, Wait and Listen? Why didn’t I approach the pasture and Chief with an attitude of listening? Maybe because I already had an agenda of ‘what I thought I knew. Chief taught me otherwise. Having tuned into what ultimately was being demonstrated by my 1,200-pound companion, we could have reached a resolution a little sooner.

Thank goodness our animal companions are devout followers of one of the greatest spiritual tenets ever known to man, The Sermon on the Mount, and I’ve been forgiven seventy times seven, one more time.

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